Effective mentoring for biology teaching: insights of mentors and supervisors
This study investigated the purposes, perspectives and practices of mentors in mentoring preservice teachers as well as the insights of supervisors regarding effective mentoring for biology teaching by attempting to determine their respective stances on the matter through a mixed method design. The purposes of mentors to work with preservice teachers and the mentoring practices that they found effective were explored through Mentoring Conceptions and Motivations Scale adopted by a research project (TÜBİTAK, 220K086) and follow-up semi-structured interviews with a subset of mentors. Furthermore, Area Specialized Effective Mentoring Opinion Form was used to reveal supervisors’ opinions about effective mentoring for biology teaching. The result of the study showed that biology mentors hold developmental conceptions dominant to instrumental conceptions. In addition, it was found that payment and sense of belonging also play a role in motivating mentors to guide preservice teachers for biology teaching besides personal learning and generative outcome motives. Effective biology mentoring practices characterized under five themes by mentors: “Tripartite Cooperation (TRIAD)”, “Area-specialized Teaching”, “Teaching profession introduction practices”, “Pedagogical Knowledge” and “Content Knowledge”. Moreover, the analysis of supervisors’ responses on effective mentoring in biology teaching yielded “Triad Cooperation in Teaching Practicum (TRIAD)”, “Mentoring Practices in Teaching Practicum”, and “The Characteristics of the Mentor” themes. This study provides valuable insights into the understanding of effective biology mentoring by shedding light on mentors’ purposes, perspectives and practices as well as supervisors’ opinions. Therefore, this research can contribute to the improvement of mentoring experiences for biology teaching and professional development of preservice teachers.