Område 2: Mentoring of student teachers, including newly qualified teachers
Teacher education programs are designed to prepare pre-service teachers for their working lives as teachers where initial training will lead to continuous professional development. Teacher training practicum is an important element in programs where students combine campus course knowledge with practice in schools. Mentoring of student teachers is an important feedback mechanism for student teachers as they move from student to novice teacher. Research has shown that feedback and reflection are widely acknowledged as critical scaffolding components in professional development. High quality mentoring thereby becomes an important quality factor in teacher education programs.
Researchers in this area are interested in projects related to investigating experiences student teachers have while in practice, and looking at ways to improve the quality of feedback given by mentors in schools. The link between campus and schools is important for how student teachers see coherence in their development as a professional teacher.
Research is also focused on mentoring of novice teachers and they move into their roles as professional teachers. Again, scaffolding for their professional development is important; understanding what is needed for their success. Connected to this is an understanding of the role of the mentor and types of interactions needed to support novice teachers. Research in this area is related to professional development of experienced teachers becoming mentors, mentor education and the role of leaders in supporting mentoring in schools.
Members of this research area have experience working with the mentor education program at ILS. They are also well published in literature related to quantitative analysis of teacher perceptions in the work place (self-efficacy studies). A FINNUT application was recently awarded to Eli Lejonberg to work with the title: Developing new tools for mentoring in teacher education: preference screening, learner assessment and structured video-use.