Hudson, P & Hudson, S 2011, 'Converting theory to practice: university-school collaboration on devising strategies for mentoring pedagogical knowledge', International Journal of Learning, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 319-329.
Copyright 2011 The authors.
There appears no shortage of theorists for preservice teacher education; however many ideas are abandoned without practical applications. Indeed, it can take years for theories to materialise into practice, if they materialise at all. The quality of preservice teacher education is central for enhancing an education system, and mentors' roles can assist to shape preservice teachers' development within the school context. Yet mentoring can be haphazard without being underpinned by a theoretical framework. A mentoring model (personal attributes, system requirements, pedagogical knowledge, modelling, and feedback) has emerged from research and the literature to guide mentors' practices. This qualitative study investigates mentors' pedagogical knowledge as one factor crucial to the mentoring process. More specifically, this study involves a questionnaire and audio-recorded focus group meetings with experienced mentors (n=14) who deliberated on devising practical applications for mentoring pedagogical knowledge. Findings revealed that these experienced mentors pinpointed practical applications around a mentor's role for providing pedagogical knowledge to the mentee. These strategies were varied and demonstrated that any one mentoring practice may be approached from a number of different angles. Nevertheless, there were core mentoring practices in pedagogical knowledge such as showing the mentee how to plan for teaching, articulating classroom management approaches, and talking about how to connect learning to assessment. Mentors may require education on current mentoring practices with practical strategies that are linked to theoretical underpinning