Examining mentors' practices for enhancing preservice teachers' pedagogical development in mathematics and science


Peter B. Hudson

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Interim Citation: Author contact details: pb.hudson@qut.edu.au


Mentoring is too important to be left to chance (Ganser, 1996), yet mentoring expertise of teachers varies widely, which may present inequities for developing preservice teachers' practices. Five factors for mentoring have been identified herein: personal attributes, system requirements, pedagogical knowledge, modelling, and feedback, and items associated with each factor have also been justified in context of the literature. An original, literature-based survey instrument gathered 446 preservice teachers' perceptions of their mentoring for primary teaching. Data were analysed within the abovementioned 5 factors with 331 final-year preservice teachers from 9 Australian universities responding to their mentoring for science teaching and 115 final-year preservice teachers from an urban university responding to their mentoring for mathematics teaching. Results indicated similar Cronbach alpha scores on each of the five factors for primary science and mathematics teaching; however percentages and mean scores on attributes and practices aligned with each factor were considerably higher for mentoring mathematics teaching compared with science teaching.