Mentor teacher participation in professional experience: Implications and considerations of rapid workforce change

Chad Morrison, Alison L Hilton, Claire Bartlett, Chris Morrissey, Michelle Parks, Brendan Bentley, Sandi Fielder , Kathryn Dehle, Susan Ledger

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    Abstract

    Professional Experience is an essential component of Australian initial teacher education, where pre-service teachers develop in response to the support and guidance of their experienced mentor teachers. The participation and engagement of mentor teachers is often voluntary and relies heavily on their good will, yet this involvement is fundamental to a range of outcomes associated with teacher education. The voluntary nature of participation emphasises the need for integrated and coherent systems to operate between universities, schools and systems, often framed around partnerships. Various legislative and funding arrangements have created ambiguity and complexity in relation to partnerships and inhibit system-wide approaches to effectively and efficiently create aligned systems of practice and collaboration. Research also highlights that there is great variability in the experience, perspectives and training undertaken by mentor teachers. The system relies on high quality mentoring from highly accomplished and experienced teachers who draw on expertise and have engaged in targeted training for this work. The disruption and impact caused by COVID-19 is reshaping the teaching workforce and has implications for who is putting their hands up to mentor pre-service teachers. This study analyses system-generated data of participation of mentor teachers to identify patterns of regularity of mentor teacher engagement, clusters of repeated mentoring by school, district, sector and system. These data have implications for initial teacher education providers seeking to meet the professional learning needs of this workforce as they pursue high quality experiences for their students in a rapidly changing context.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2022
    EventAustralian Association for Educational Research - Adelaide, Australia, Adelaide, Australia
    Duration: 27 Nov 20221 Dec 2022

    Conference

    ConferenceAustralian Association for Educational Research
    Country/TerritoryAustralia
    CityAdelaide
    Period27/11/221/12/22

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