How Do School Mentors Make Sense Of The Changes Brought By A School-University Partnership?
In Hong Kong, schools and teachers are taking up greater responsibility in the initial training of teachers. This move towards school-based teacher preparation is evidenced in the development of school-university partnerships and school-based mentorship programmes that involve the appointment of school teachers to be mentors of student teachers during their teaching practicum. Mentoring creates a new dimension to teachers’ work. Teachers become entrusted with a teaching role, not merely a supervisory role in teacher preparation. Implicit in the title of mentor are new expectations of and new demands on teachers’ work. This paper explores how school teachers involved in mentoring make sense of the challenges that come with the school-university partnership and the role of mentor. The context of the study is a school-university partnership scheme initiated and led by a university in Hong Kong. Research data are taken from individual and focus group interviews with mentors from eight schools that have entered into partnership with the university over a three-year period. The findings indicate that mentors’ perception of the partnership and the role of mentor has changed over the three-year period and the changes can be described in terms of three periods: period of unclarity, uncertainty; period of understanding, mutual benefits; and period of mentor-student teacher partnership, unequal partnership. The study has important implications for future developments of school-university partnerships in the local context.
Edith Lai (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China)
School of Education and Languages
The Open University of Hong Kong
(Virtual Presentation, English)