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PERCEPTIONS OF COOPERATING TEACHERS AS MENTORS TO FUTURE TEACHERS

Hasan Melki, Mohamed S. Bouzid, Aymen Haweni, Meher Mrayeh, Nizar Souissi

Abstract


Aim: The aim of this study was to examine the perception that cooperating teachers have of their role and to determine the importance of the preparation they have to serve their mentoring effectively, as well their professional needs. This study addresses teacher internship as an essential element of teacher education programmes, while the cooperating teachers themselves have not received sufficient attention, particularly for their own professional development and identity formation. Materials and methods: The sample was recruited from various randomly selected schools in Tunis. Thirty cooperating teachers divided into two groups. The first group included 15 persons who had not taken any professional development courses. The second group consisted of 15 other cooperating teachers who participated in a professional development course for college supervisors delivered by two instructors. Two open-ended questionnaires were conducted for both groups. A semi-structured interview was administered to both instructors. Results: We find that low participation in professional development workshops may be linked to a lack of confidence in the self-image of cooperating teachers as trainers. It was also found that the professional identity of cooperating teachers is ambiguous. Indeed, their arguments are divergent but are not recognized as a professional role. The distinction between the role of teacher and that of a mentor is difficult. Conclusion: How they perceive their role is important if they want to be recognized by other important people in their educational institution. Similarly, schools must provide a helping philosophy that is fundamental to building the identity.

 


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