Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Topic: Mentoring and Student Teachers

10-second review: Stop looking at student teachers as the low person on the hierarchical totem pole. The true mentor tries to help student teachers to make their own decisions.

Title: “Dialogic Praxis in Teacher Preparation: A Discourse Analysis of Mentoring Talk.” D Bieler. English Education (July 2010), 391-426.

Quote: “The deficit-oriented language and images often used to describe student teachers suggest that they are being ‘trained’ to be comfortable in the role of being ‘trained.’ ”

Summary: What follows in the article is a discussion between a student teacher and the author about the student teacher’s philosophical differences with his mentor that resulted in the student teacher’s transferring to another high school to complete student teaching: they obviously were unable to use “dialogic praxis” to resolve their differences.

Comment: I completely agree about encouraging student teachers to experiment in the classroom and to make decisions. And mentors should mentor, not tell the student teacher what to do, which usually means doing things the way the mentor does them. If mentor and student teacher could achieve “dialogic praxis,” it would be the best possible situation for both. RayS.

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