Toward identifying pedagogical knowledge for mentoring in primary science teaching
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Final year preservice teachers' perceptions of their mentoring in primary science teaching were gathered through surveys from three separate studies. The three studies (n = 59, n = 331, n = 60) provided an indication of the degree of mentoring preservice teachers perceived they received with mentoring practices linked to "Pedagogical Knowledge." This research argues that mentors require pedagogical knowledge of primary science for guiding mentees with planning, timetabling, preparation, implementation, classroom management strategies, teaching strategies, science teaching knowledge, questioning skills, problem-solving strategies, assessment techniques, and developing viewpoints on science pedagogy. The key study findings (n = 331, from nine Australian universities involved in primary teacher education) indicated that 55% or more mentees had not received "Pedagogical Knowledge" for primary science teaching in each of the associated mentoring practices (mean score range: 2.60–2.91, standard deviation range: 1.10–1.32). The study concludes that mentors require further professional development to ensure that preservice teachers (mentees) receive adequate pedagogical knowledge for teaching primary science, which will involve significant collaboration between universities and schools.