Much of our work in the Department for Education and Childhood Studies is centred on close partnership with school colleagues. This can be seen quite clearly in our work with the school-based mentors who work with each of our ITE programmes. The importance of mentoring to teacher development has been well-documented1. The value of good mentoring and the vital role it plays in the development of practice can also be seen quite clearly in student feedback.
Estyn2 identified some key self-reflection questions to support the evaluation of mentoring in initial teacher education. These included a focus on a strategy to develop the role of mentors in a way that contributes to a common vision for teacher education, and a shared understanding of mentoring and mentor effectiveness. A research project undertaken by school and university colleagues in SUSP in 2022 revealed that mentors valued the role, but that more work was needed to fully capture and explore the more developmental elements of the mentoring role.
1 Dan Goldhaber, John Krieg, Natsumi Naito, Roddy Theobald; Making the Most of Student Teaching: The Importance of Mentors and Scope for Change. Education Finance and Policy 2020; 15 (3): 581–591. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/edfp_a_00305.
2 Estyn (2022). Initial Teacher Education reform in Wales: emerging strengths and areas for consideration, Estyn.