Employing the five-factor mentoring instrument : analysing mentoring practices for teaching primary science

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Primary science education is a concern around the world and quality mentoring within schools can develop preservice teachers’ practices. A five-factor model for mentoring has been identified, namely, personal attributes, system requirements, pedagogical knowledge, modelling, and feedback. Final-year preservice teachers (mentees, n=211) from three Turkish universities were administered a previously validated instrument to gather perceptions of their mentoring in primary science teaching. ANOVA indicated that each of these five factors was statistically significant (p<.001) with mean scale scores ranging from 3.36 to 4.12. Although mentees perceived their mentors to provide evaluation feedback (95%), model classroom management (88%), guide their preparation (96%), and outline the science curriculum (92%), the majority of mentors were perceived not to assist their mentees in 10 of the 34 survey items. Professional development programmes that target the specific needs of these mentors may further enhance mentoring practices for advancing primary science teaching.