The Importance Of Student Teacher Mentorship

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Student teacher mentoring during teaching practice (TP) plays an important role as a quality assurance mechanism in teacher development programmes. However, a number of challenges are encountered during this practicum attachment phase. Some of these emanate from lecturers, mentors, mentees themselves and the system of teacher training. Maintenance of perceived quality in teacher training needs constant evaluation and assessment. This mixed qualitative and quantitative naturalistic single case study evaluates student teacher mentorship at Mkoba Teachers College in light of quality in the TP exercise. Questionnaires, focus group discussions, interviews and observations were administered to purposefully selected informants. Practitioners in both the schools and the college need to uphold mentorship principles that are concomitant with adaptation for quality assurance. The research findings inform and empower educationists on TP mentorship practices that uphold the philosophy of Unhuism/Ubuntuism for quality assurance in and socio-economic transformation through education. KEY WORDS Teaching Practice (TP), mentor, mentee, student teacher, mentorship, Philosophy of Unhuism/Ubuntuism, quality assurance, socio-economic transformation INTRODUCTION Mentorship has been part and parcel of teaching practice in Zimbabwe. This has been in place since the introduction of the 2-5-2 teacher training programme; a training model that engages student teachers on two residential terms of

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