Buchkapitel CC BY-NC 4.0

Mentoring Student Teachers and Mentors’ Perceptions Regarding Their Roles : The Case of Kosovo, Albania and Switzerland

Gjelaj, Majlinda;
Pädagogische Hochschule Thurgau
Gehrig, Irene; Dibra, Gezim; Bushati, Jozef

There are a range of different approaches regarding teacher education programmes across the world. Some of them are more theoretically oriented and some are more practice-based, focusing on real-life classroom situations. Mentoring, one of the most popular ways of benefiting from the positive influence of a more experienced person, is an approach to preparing teachers for educational occupations (Coats & Woullard, 2010). Kosovo, Albania and Switzerland used to prepare teachers by
placing them in the school system very early while providing them with coaching from teachers already working in the schools (mentors) with professors from the
faculty supervising them. However, there are differences in how the three different countries organise this process. This study aims to describe how the mentoring system is organised in Kosovo, Albania and Switzerland and how the teachers/mentors perceive their roles while coaching students during their teaching practice. A literature review on how the mentoring system is organised in the three countries participating was conducted. A qualitative approach was used to identify how teachers from the three countries perceive their roles. The researchers interviewed 5 teachers in each country. The sample was intentional using the criteria of experience in coaching student teachers at schools. The Hudson
et al (2005) theory of mentoring with the 5 elements of personal attributes, system requirements, pedagogical knowledge, modelling and feedback/reflection was used
in a modified interview protocol. The results revealed that there are good experiences, practices and approaches which the three countries could share and learn from each other, and that there is some similarity in the mentor teachers’ perceptions regarding their roles as mentors. Most of the teachers shared that they do model teaching in front of the student teachers, they do give them feedback, they challenge students with the system requirements such as understanding the curriculum and working with documents, planning and assessment, etc. The main lesson learned from this study seems to be that teaching practice as part of an educational programme and mentoring are crucial to a qualitative teacher prepa-ration.


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