10 SES 14 F, Research on Teacher Educators
Education is one of the highest social goods that a society has to offer, and the quality of education has critical implications for a society's long-term well-being. To a large extent, the quality of education depends on the preparation of teachers. Research has indicated that formative feedback holds great promise when it comes to creating high-quality teachers (Lejonberg, Eriksen, Elstad, & Christophersen, 2016; Tillema, 2009). Also, researchers have found mentoring to be critically important for preservice and beginning teachers' professional development. Furthermore, reflection and feedback are widely acknowledged as critical scaffolding components in mentor and mentees relationships, as well as in the continuing professional development of teachers (Lejonberg et al., 2015; Lejonberg & Tiplic, 2016).
Preservice teachers’ efforts and experiences in practicum, assisted by a school-based mentor, are considered crucial for developing the skills and knowledge needed to function as teachers (Helms-Lorenz, Slof, & van de Grift, 2013; Hobson, Ashby, Malderez, & Tomlinson, 2009). However, the structures for and content in mentoring are characterised by diversity, and mentors have contrasting opinions on how to contribute to the professional development of their mentees (Lejonberg, 2016; Lejonberg, Elstad, & Christophersen, 2015; Lejonberg & Tiplic, 2016). Furthermore, research have found instances of low-quality mentoring and its potentially negative effects on beginning teachers’ professional development.
Attempts to systematically combine self-assessments with learner and peer feedback and to structure mentoring activities around these are sparse. We argue for a holistic approach to practicum based on the development of toolsfor mentoring of preservice teachers. In our research project we aim to combine mentoring appraisal, self-assessment, learner and peer feedback in the development of such tools. A first step in our project is to review prior research on tools for mentoring of preservice teachers and investigate how the use of such tools possibly structures and promotes professional development in practicum periods. This systematic review study will thus provide a basis for further investigations of the quality of mentoring in teacher education.
Accordingly, this study investigates current trends in mentoring of pre-service teachers by focusing on tools used in the mentoring process. We investigate the use of research-based tools for assessing preservice teachers’ practice and how such tools may help to better develop the preservice teachers’ skills. The study aims to provide a rapid review for teachers, researchers and university-based teacher educators interested in investigating and understanding the use of tools for mentoring of professional development, identifying what can be known from research about the use of tools in mentoring and feedback on pre-service teacher development in practicum, and to signpost future directions for further work.
The study raises the following research question: " What characterizes school mentors' use of tools in professional development of preservice teachers".
- What sort of tools are used in the mentoring process?
- How are the tools utilized?
- What experiences do school mentors and mentees have with the use of tools in mentoring?
Attending to teachers’ preservice training is of the utmost importance in safeguarding the future of the nation inherent in its school learners. In recent years, teacher education has been criticised for low quality, low relevance, low time-on-task et cetera (Zeichner & Conklin, 2016). In the follow-up after this systematic review study we will focus on developing innovative feedback arrangements and mentoring appraisal in the teaching practicum capitalizing on the unrealised potential of virtual simulation, multisource feedback and mentoring appraisal. By developing tools for gathering feedback from several sources as well as tools for structured feedback in mentoring we hope to contribute to more efficient, effective and personalised professional development in teacher education practicum.
A systematic review process requires a rigorous comparison of studies according to explicit criteria (Gough, Oliver & Thomas, 2017). This study takes the form of a rapid systematic review performed to synthesize qualitative, quantitative and literature studies. To conduct this study, several research studies on this topic published between the years 2000 and 2019 are selected, reviewed and analysed in terms of the research question presented above. A search string with search words was developed and several trial searches conducted in electronic databases. Included in this systematic review are articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Other type of documents such as dissertations, books, conference papers and reports are not included in this review process. The authors also reviewed the quality of the research presented in terms of the robustness of its methodology to ensure that only high-quality findings were analysed. In this systematic review the following limitations are made: 1) grey literature is not included in this review, 2) search window from 2000 to 2019, 3) language is limited to articles published in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish. Preparing the data for synthesis requires a three-stage process, following pre-defined criteria. At the first stage, articles are read and assessed on title and abstract. At the second stage, articles are read in full text. At the third stage, data is extracted from the articles, described and prepared for synthesis. We will conduct a configurative synthesis, which aims to find similarities between heterogenous studies, even when different concepts are used to describe similar events. Translation is central to configurative synthesis, and the ambition of a configurative synthesis is to contribute to clarification, theory development, and conceptual innovation. The synthesis results in a narrative that answers the research question by identifying transcending patterns in the included studies (Popay, et al. 2006).
The raison d’être of teacher training is that preservice teachers should be prepared for a working life as teachers; it is intended to provide the initial basis for continuous professional development in the teaching profession. Our study indicates that a few scattered attempts have used some feedback sources for preservice teachers’ professional development. For example, a systematic review study by Theelen, Beemt and den Brok (2019) investigated computer-based classroom simulations and found a positive effect of simulations on preservice teachers' classroom management and teaching skills in general. Another study by Brevik, Blikstad-Balas & Engelien (2017) investigated preservice teachers use of self-assessment as a tool for professional development. The study indicated that preservice teachers rarely make use of self-assessment to improve their instruction. However, none of the studies included in our review involved tools or simulations utilized in mentoring of preservice teachers in combination with learners’ feedback and structured self-assessment. This research gap indicates a need for research on how tools, self-assessment, peer feedback and learners’ perceptions of teachers can be used as sources of data to analyse preservice teachers’ practice lessons. Offering the best teacher training and optimal professional development necessitates an improved understanding of how feedback is used in teacher training in other parts of the world. In particular, the role of feedback must be examined with the aim of offering optimal initial teacher training and high-quality continuing professional development. The value added by any teacher-training programme is premised on preservice teachers’ learning to teach, which in turn depends on the quality of mentored practicum experiences as well as academic courses.
Brevik, L. M., Blikstad-Balas, M., & Engelien, K. L. (2017). Integrating assessment for learning in the teacher education programme at the University of Oslo. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, 24(2), 164-184. Gough, D. Oliver, S. & Thomas, J. (2017). An introduction to systematic reviews. London: Sage Ltd. Helms-Lorenz, M., Slof, B., & van de Grift, W. (2013). First year effects of induction arrangements on beginning teachers’ psychological processes. European journal of psychology of education, 28(4), 1265-1287. Hobson, A. J., Ashby, P., Malderez, A., & Tomlinson, P. D. (2009). Mentoring beginning teachers: What we know and what we don't. Teaching and teacher education, 25(1), 207-216. Lejonberg, E. (2016). Hva kan bidra til god veiledning? -En problematisering basert på veilederes og veisøkeres perspektiver på veiledning av begynnende lærere. [What can contribute to good mentoring? A problematisation based on mentors and mentees perspectives on mentoring of beginning teachers] Phd-avhandling, Universitetet i Oslo [Phd dissertation, University of Oslo] Lejonberg, E., Elstad, E., & Christophersen, K.-A. (2015). Mentor education: Challenging mentors’ beliefs about mentoring. International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, 4(2), 142-158. doi:http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/IJMCE-10-2014-0034 Lejonberg, E., Elstad, E., & Christophersen, K. A. (2017). Teaching evaluation: Antecedents of teachers’ perceived usefulness of follow-up sessions and perceived stress related to the evaluation process. Teachers and Teaching, 1-15.doi:10.1080/13540602.2017.1399873 Lejonberg, E., & Tiplic, D. (2016). Clear Mentoring: Contributing to Mentees’ Professional Self-confidence and Intention to Stay in their Job. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 1-16. Popay, J. Roberts, H., Sowden, A., Petticrew, M., Arai, L., Rodgers, M. & Duffy, s. (2006). Guidance on the conduct of narrative synthesis in systematic reviews. A product from the ESRC methods programme. Version, 1. Theelen, H., van den Beemt, A., & den Brok, P. (2019). Classroom simulations in teacher education to support preservice teachers’ interpersonal competence: A systematic literature review. Computers & Education, 129, 14-26. Tillema, H. H. (2009). Assessment for learning to teach: Appraisal of practice teaching lessons by mentors, supervisors, and student teachers. Journal of Teacher Education, 60(2), 155-167. Zeichner, K., & Conklin, H. G. (2016). Beyond knowledge ventriloquism and echo chambers: Raising the quality of the debate in teacher education. Teachers College Record, 118(12).
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