Mentoring the Relationship Between Cooperating Primary School Teachers and Teacher Trainees During Teaching Practice
Master's Thesis 2015 147 Pages
TABLE OF CONTENTS
LIST OF TABLES
LIST OF FIGURES
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
1.1 Background of Study
1.4 Objective of the Study
1.5 Research Questions
1.6 Justification of the Study
1.7 Significance of the Study
1.8 Scope of the Study
1.9 Limitations of the Study
1.10 Assumptions of the Study
1.11 Theoretical Framework
1.12 Conceptual Framework
1.13 Operational Definition of Terms
1.14 Chapter Summary
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Teacher Education in Kenya
2.2 The Role of Teacher Mentoring in Teacher Education Reform
2.3 Schemes of Work and Lesson Plan Preparation
2.4 Use of Instructional Methods in the Teaching/Learning Process
2.5 Monitoring and Evaluation of Lesson Presentation
2.6 Indicators in Monitoring and Evaluation
2.7 Professional Ethics in the Teaching Profession
2.7.1 Studies done in Other Parts of the World
2.7.2 Studies Done in Kenya
2.8 Chapter Summary
CHAPTER THREE RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design
3.2 Research Methodology
3.2 Area of Study
3.3 Study Population
3.4 Sample Size and Techniques
3.5 Data Collection Instruments
3.5.2 Interview Guide
3.6 Validity and Reliability of the Research Instruments
3.6.1 Validity of the Research Instruments
3.6.2 Reliability of the Research Instruments
3.7 Ethical Considerations
3.8 Data Collection and Analysis Procedure
3.8.1 Data Collection Procedures
3.8.2 Data Analysis Procedures
3.9 Chapter Summary
CHAPTER FOUR DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS, INTERPRETATION AND DISCUSSION
4.1 Biographical Information of the Teacher Trainees and the Cooperating Teachers
4.1.1 The Age of the Teacher Trainees
4.1.2 The Age of Cooperating Teachers
4.1.3 Teaching Practice Sessions Attended by the Teacher Trainees
4.1.4 The Duration the Cooperating Teachers had Handled Teacher Trainees During Teaching Practice
4.1.5 Cooperating Teachers Level of Professional Training
4.1.6 Cooperating Teachers Teaching Experience
4.1.7 Cooperating Teachers Administrative Roles in School
4.1.8 Frequency on Teaching Practice Management Induction Courses Attended by Cooperating Teachers
4.1.9 Working time Spent by Cooperating Teachers on Teacher Trainees per day during Teaching Practice
4.20. Information on Sharing of the Staffroom Between the Teacher Trainee and The Regular Teachers
4.2 Preparation of Schemes of Work and Lesson Plans by Teacher Trainees
4.3 Guidance on Instructional Methods to the Teacher Trainees
4.4 Monitoring and Evaluation of Lesson Presentation by the Cooperating Teachers
4.5 Provision of Guidance on Professional Ethics to Teacher Trainees by the Cooperating Teachers
4.6 Teacher Trainees Perception on Mentoring Relationship Between them and the Cooperating Teachers
4.6.1 Trainees Response in the Choice of Their Perception on the Mentoring Relationship
4.7 Responses from Cooperating Teachers on the Improvement of the Mentoring Relationship between them and the Teacher Trainees
4.8 Chapter Summary
CHAPTER FIVE SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Summary of the Findings
5.4 Suggestion for Further Research
APPENDIX 1: LETTER OF INTRODUCTION
APPENDIX II: QUESTIONNAIRE FOR THE TEACHER TRAINEE
APPENDIX III: STRUCTURED INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR COOPERATING TEACHERS
I dedicate this work to my wife who was a source of inspiration, my parents who motivated me into the study, and my children who encouraged me to sojourn on even when the going was getting tough.
My acknowledgement goes to God for the provision of good health and physical needs, my supervisors Dr. (Mrs) Ann Kisilu and Mr. Charles Nyandusi for their professional guidance, tireless efforts and valuable suggestions at various critical stages of preparing and completion of this thesis, my family members for their emotional and material support and my research respondents for their valuable information for the study.
Cooperating teachers provide the guidance sought by teacher trainees when they are away from college in the practicing schools and in the absence of the college tutors. This study sought to establish the extent to which this mentorship role is played by analyzing the mentoring relationship between cooperating primary school teachers and teacher trainees during teaching practice. The objectives of the study were to find out how the cooperating primary school teachers mentored the teacher trainees on: schemes of work and lesson plans; selection and application of instructional methods; lesson presentation and on professional ethics. The theoretical frame work used was based on developmental supervision theory by Glickman (2003). The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. It targeted cooperating teachers from 26 public primary schools from Kakamega and Vihiga Counties in Western Kenya and the student teacher trainees of Eregi and Kaimosi Teachers College who had undertaken teaching practice in the targeted primary schools. Two cooperating teachers who had handled teacher trainees during teaching practice for at least one year were selected from the schools through simple random sampling. For teacher trainees, focus was on approximately 1000 second year students who had done at least two teaching practice sessions. The teacher trainees were stratified into male and female from which 30% were selected from each gender through simple random sampling method. Questionnaires and interview schedules were used as data collecting instruments. The data collected was analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Frequency tables were used to present the quantitative data, while qualitatively data was thematically analyzed as per the objectives. The analysis revealed that, majority of the cooperating teachers rarely did assist teacher trainees in preparation of schemes of work and lesson plans, selection and application of instructional methods and lesson presentation. On professional ethics, it established that, majority of the cooperating teachers often guided teacher trainees in the maintenance of discipline in class. Consequently, the study recommended that, cooperating teachers should check the trainees’ lesson preparation to confirm that, the topics allocated to them are effectively taught; that provision be made for both to regularly discuss the instructional methods before lesson presentation; that cooperating teachers observe and evaluate trainees lessons; and that both should share a staffroom to enhance interaction. To motivate the cooperating teachers, the study recommends that, training colleges to organize induction course on the management of teaching practice; that some allowance be given in appreciation of the role cooperating teachers play and that they should be sensitized on their role as professional mentors. It is expected that this study will be of great benefit to the policy planners, the ministry of education, teacher training institutions and practicing teachers in restructuring teacher education programmes.
LIST OF TABLES
Table 3.1: Sampling Frame
Table 4.1: The Ages of the Teacher Trainees
Table 4.2: The Age of Cooperating Teachers
Table 4.3: Teaching Practice Sessions Attended by the Teacher Trainees
Table 4.4: Information on how Long, Cooperating Teachers had handled Teacher Trainees on Teaching Practice
Table 4.5: Information on Cooperating Teachers’ Highest Level of Professional Training
Table 4.6: Information on Cooperating teachers Teaching Experience
Table 4.7: Information on Cooperating Teachers’ Administrative Role in School
Table 4.8: Information on the Frequency of Induction Courses Attended by Cooperating Teachers on Teaching Practice Management
Table 4.9: Information on the Amount of time Cooperating Teachers Spend With Teacher Trainees in a Day
Table 4.9: Information on the Amount of time Cooperating Teachers Spend With Teacher Trainees in a Day
Table 4.10: Information on Sharing of Staffroom Between Teacher Trainees and Regular Teachers
Table 4.11: Findings from Teacher Trainees on Assistance Accorded on Preparation of Schemes of Work and Lesson Plans by Cooperating Teachers
Table 4.12: Findings from Teacher Trainees on Assistance Accorded on the Selection and Application of Instructional Methods by Cooperating Teachers
Table 4.13: Findings on Assistance Accorded to the Teacher Trainees on Monitoring and Evaluation of Lesson Presentation
Table 4.14: Findings from Teacher Trainees on the Assistance Accorded on Professional Ethics by the Cooperating Teachers
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1.1: Conceptual Framework
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
illustration not visible in this excerpt
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY
This is the introductory chapter of this thesis. Specifically it discusses the background of the research problem, statement of the problem, the purpose of the study, objectives of the study, research questions, variables of the study, theoretical framework, justification of the study, significance of the study, limitations of the study, operational definitions of terms and conclusion.
1.1 Background of Study
Teachers’ colleges and universities introduce student teacher trainees to the art or science of teaching, its theory and its practice. It is during the actual Teaching Practice in school or a learning environment, that teacher trainees apply the theoretical knowledge they have acquired in college to complete for themselves what they learnt in college. From my experience as a teacher, I have observed that knowledge is not enough if one doesn’t know how to pass it on, training is not enough if one has no knowledge to pass on and experience is not enough unless one learns by it. Cooper (2006) says, teacher trainees working with mentors or experienced colleagues allows them to obtain another perspective and a new idea regarding classroom problems.
Farrant (2009) observes that, preparing to teach can be an anxious and busy time, whether it is for a spell of teaching practice or in anticipation of a first appointment. Beginning teaching can be a difficult experience, this is so because it requires many skills which the teacher trainee has little opportunity to develop, this then requires that, an experienced teacher is requires to guide the novice teacher to grow and get established in the profession.
Teacher education programs provide policies and procedures designed to equip prospective teachers with the knowledge, attitude, behavior and skills they require to perform their tasks effectively in the classroom, school and the wider community. It is the responsibility of the mentor as an experienced teacher to induct the teacher trainee into the profession. According to Wang & Odell (2000), mentors are experienced teachers who, as part of their professional assignment guide the pre-service or beginning teachers as they learn to teach.
Mentoring has been awarded a variety of descriptions to define its purpose, among them induction, supervision, staff retention, inculcation of organizational culture, personal and professional development. A teacher trainee has to be properly inducted into practical teaching in the actual environment, Nyambegera (2005), describes orientation as the first step in building a two way relationship between the organization and the new employee where in this case the new employee is the teacher trainee and the organization is the practicing school. Therefore according to Nyambegera (2005), transition to the new work place is made easier and more effective for both the new employee and the organization if there is a well designed orientation process.
The role played by a mentor, is a more structured and sustained relationship intended to support professional learners at an early age of their career through a career transition. For example, a teacher trainee can benefit from a mentor through peer Coaching approach where the relationship between the mentor and mentee will involve sharing concerns and experiences with a view to embed new knowledge or skills in their practice. Those involved in peer coaching have similar professional interests and find the relationship to be of mutual benefit. The relationship may take the form of a network, perhaps evolving from another professional development experience. Wilkin and Sankey (1994) observe that the process may be short term or long term and may be appropriate for colleagues who are teaching the same stage, or in the same department. The process of mentoring is effective when mentors are selected based on their knowledge and expertise, and given training in mentoring skills, adult learning and ability to identify and communicate best practices (Wilkin and Sankey ,1994).
Teacher trainees on practicum need guidance to enable them to integrate education theory with practice. Brock & Grady (1998) emphasize the importance of teaching practice as a way of providing the teacher trainee an opportunity to develop a professional identity, teach, and participate in multiple complex and concrete experiences essential for meaningful learning and teaching. The process of mentoring acts as a vehicle in preparing the teacher trainee for the task of actual classroom reaching so as to be an effective teacher. For this reason, the process of mentoring should be done meaningfully, effectively and systematically.
The introduction of 8-4-4 system of education in 1985 did not achieve the expected teacher education objective; this was so because of the manner in which it was introduced. According to Thum (1996), many teachers were not prepared to implement the curriculum especially in practical skills. He also observes that, the curriculum didn’t prepare its graduates for further education, training and its world of work; this was so because of unrealistic objectives, where some overloaded the curriculum in terms of number of subjects, thus the demand for many text-books and large number of teachers. Inadequate equipment for implementation of the curriculum especially practical subjects was also noted. Oluoch (2004) also observes that, though 8-4-4 had a clear vision from the onset, it faced many challenges and among them being lack of qualified teachers. Had the training of teachers been properly done through adequate mentorship of the teacher trainees on the same by the cooperating teachers and piloting it in selected institutions prior to it’s implementation with a view to detect any shortcomings , the system could have succeeded.
The second Millennium Development Goal, whose target is to achieve Universal Primary Education (UPE) by 2015, seeks to ensure that boys and girls complete primary schooling successfully and the Government of Kenya in line with this goal introduced Free Primary Education in 2003. The implementation of this has had a few challenges among them being lack of adequate classrooms and instructional materials which do not match the enrolment. There is need to restructure the teacher training program with a view to equip its graduates with skills of handling these challenges if this objective is to be achieved however, this cannot be realized unless the mentoring process is done effectively during the actual teaching practice period. The cooperating teachers are key in this process (GOK, 2003).
The government of Kenya as a follow up to “the Dakar frame work for action on Education For All (EFA)” Launched a policy on HIV/AIDS. The policy mandated the teacher education curriculum (pre-service and in-service) to prepare educators who will respond to this within their own lives and as professionals to built a positive attitude towards control and prevention of the epidemic among the learners and the society. There is need therefore for the teacher trainees to be properly guided by the cooperating teachers on the professionalism of handling the affected and infected with a view to observe the confidentiality (GOK, 2005). The policy on HIV/AJDS is aimed at establishing mechanism to eliminate all gender disparities in education, training and research in relation to access involvement, retention, completion, performance, transition and quality outcomes. This is to ensure that curriculum design, development and implementation and teacher training process as well as curriculum materials are gender responsive. The teacher training aspect is crucial towards the achievement of this objective, the cooperating teachers (mentors) and student teacher (mentees) will have to work corporately towards the realization of this objective with a view to deliver quality education and training to all. Teacher trainees joining the career must be initiated into the system through proper induction and coaching by the cooperating teachers (GOK, 2005).
The Kenya vision 2030 launched on 30th Oct 2006 by H.E President Mwai Kibaki of the Republic of Kenya was a follow up to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA) goals. Its objective is to provide globally competitive quality education, training and research, to reduce illiteracy by increasing access to education. The specific strategy for teacher training program is to modernize teacher training and strengthening partnership with the private sectors. The flagship project for education and training for the teaching force as outlined in the vision 2030 was to establish a teacher recruitment programme whose aim was to employ 28,000 more teachers by 2012, to improve the quality of education and to ensure that all schools have adequate teachers. For quality education to be realized, the 28,000 teachers who were intended to be recruited must have been properly oriented into the system during their teaching practice sessions to realize their professional development, otherwise the vision may not realize its objectives as did the 8-4-4 system where teachers were hurriedly prepared and posted to schools to implement the new curriculum ( GOK , 2006).There is thus the need for cooperating teachers to professionally induct the teacher trainees during teaching practice.
Education today is one of the essential elements of economic and social development. The school is the main place for education whose function is to develop the intellectual, moral and physical faculties of children so that, later on in life they will effectively contribute towards the economic and social development of the country. The teacher is charged with the responsibility of providing education, but before undertaking the task, he/she should be effectively orientated into the task of classroom teaching. Orientation is therefore defined by French (1994) as; the process of familiarizing new employees with the organization and in the job market. Orientation programmes are intended to help new employees settle into their new job as the case is in the teaching force. Therefore, orientation, induction, guiding and coaching are the relationships to be established between the organization (school) and the employee (new teacher/teacher trainee) coordinated by the mentor (cooperating teacher). It is important that this is done because in any organization dealing with human resource, a comprehensive orientation for the new employee is crucial because it accomplishes the following as observed by Nyabegera (2005) as:
Providing the new employee with, information that will ease the transition into the work place, Paints a precise picture of the department, and the institution as a whole, Introduces the new employee to departmental goals, policies and procedures, customs and traditions, relieves the new employee’s anxieties about starting a new job and to Inspires the new employee to have a good attitude towards the organization and his or her new job ( P. 76).
The government of Kenya has, since independence, committed itself to the provision of adequate, properly trained and motivated teachers. In this respect, the Kenya Education Commission Report of 1964, subsequent education reports, and related policy documents since independence have reiterated the importance of matching quality teachers’ supply from various training institutions with the demand in our Educational Institutions. This quality therefore, can only be achieved if the mentoring role played by cooperating teachers is embraced as an important ingredient in the preparation of teacher trainees (Boswell, 2004).
Session Paper No. 6 of 1988 on education and manpower training for the next decade and beyond, in particular puts significant emphasis on quality teacher training. The session paper no. 1 of 2005 also paid attention to effective teacher development and utilization. All the commissions and educational reports since independence have emphasized the importance of adequate and quality teacher training to enable the country achieve quality education and realize her objective for universal basic education as already observed. In order for Kenya to achieve the MDGs on universal primary education, the Kenya vision 2030 which emphasizes on the provision of quality education, the teacher trainees being prepared for the profession must be well guided and inducted by the cooperating teachers while on teaching practice. The purpose of this study therefore was to analyze the willingness and ability of the cooperating teachers in assisting teacher trainees on teaching practice in the preparation of schemes of work and lesson plans, selection and application of instructional methods, monitoring and evaluation of teacher trainees lesson presentation and on professional ethics issues with a view to establish the extent to which these roles are effectively carried out.
Eshiwani (1993) asserts that, Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards under the Ministry of Education and in conjunction with the training colleges personnel is charged with the responsibility of overseeing and determining the teaching practice grading for teacher trainees on the completion of the exercise, this is done to ensure that the grade given is credible.
According to Shiundu and Omulando (1992), teaching practice in primary teacher training colleges is done in three slots of four weeks where one week is set aside for the preparation of schemes of work and lesson plans, and the remaining three weeks for practical teaching. These sessions are done in between the academic sessions within the two years of training. Teacher training institutions send out their trainees for teaching practice while the practicing schools provide cooperating teachers as College supervisors act as a bridge between the training college, the practicing primary school and the cooperating teachers. Wilkin and Sankey (1994) say, neither tutors nor mentors are more important parties to initial teacher training but both make equally worthwhile but, different contributions. From my observation as a teacher, the absence and irregular visits of the college supervisors during teaching practice is likely to lead to lack of communication between trainees and supervisors. It could be regarded as a question of how college supervisors’ non-existence affects the cooperating teachers as mentors. However, it is not clear how the cooperating teachers are beneficial to the teacher trainees in terms of their professional development.
In teacher education programme, mentoring of the teacher trainees during teaching practice is useful and essential as observed by some of the researchers cited. However, there are no proper guidelines for implementation because; each training institution has its own system. As a result of this, school mentors (cooperating teachers) may not know the exact nature and scope of mentoring and that, cooperating teachers could be uncertain of their roles as mentors during this period. The problems therefore faced by the school mentors (cooperating teachers) and their mentees (teacher trainees) with regard to the mentor-mentee relationship should be studied so that various measures can be taken to improve it.
From experience, I have observed that, in teaching, there is no single formula for success which teacher trainees can apply in their teaching, if this were so; the job of the training colleges would be much easier. This scenario is therefore attributed to the fact that every teaching situation is different, all children are different and teachers are different. Jean- Jacques Rousseau (1712-1772) a pioneer of the child centred method of teaching also observed that teaching must be based on the nature of the child and not what adults think they ought to know. Heinrich Pestalozi (1746-1827 as cited by Ornastein and Hunkins (1998) echoed Rousseu’ s views on the role of the teacher as one who provides the right environment from which children will learn and that educational process should be based on the natural development of the child and his/ her sensory influences, he termed the teacher as a guide and a friend who revealed to the children the ways of learning by themselves. Friedrich Froebal (1782-1852) the developer of kindergarten movement (child’s garden) also describes a kindergarten (School) as a prepared environment in which learning is based on the child’s self activities and development (Ornastein and Hunkins, 1998).
From my observation, there are certain “tricks of the trade” which will help a teacher trainee to be successful. Also, there are certain things which are worth learning about the preparation of lessons, the use of teaching apparatus, the use of the black board, maintaining order in the classroom etc., “one way of learning these ‘tricks of trade’ is by one’s own experience, i.e. trial and error” however, for the case of teacher trainees and because of the time constraint, the approach of trial and error may not be appropriate and hence the need to benefit from the experiences of others by accepting advice, and guidance in one form or another. It is against this against this background that the researcher set out to investigate the extent to which the cooperating teachers play this role as mentors of teacher trainees during teaching practices.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In line with vision 2030 under education and training sector, the teacher is paramount towards the realization of this vision, this is so because of the role the teacher plays in the development, supervision, implementation and testing of the curriculum. The preparation of a quality teacher therefore starts from the teacher training college where the teacher trainee is exposed to the skills and knowledge of teaching. For this reason, teaching practice therefore becomes a necessary programme for any intending professional teacher, and, it should occupy a central place in teacher education.
Farrant (2009) states that: Teacher tutors, sometimes called professional tutors, are mentors especially assigned to supervise the work of teacher trainees in their induction training and to help them with whatever teaching problems they may experience during that time. In the absence of the college supervisor/ Professional tutors, the guidance sought by the teacher trainees can be provided by the regular cooperating teacher who will assume the role of the college tutor. Ramsey (2000) and Sanders et al (2005) argue that, real learning happens for the teacher trainee in the classroom and not in the lecture room, and that it is the practical task that truly educates and not the theory discussed in teacher education colleges. The ideas of Rousseau, Pestalozi and Froebel can also be applied effectively in teaching if the teacher trainee being prepared to enter into the teaching profession is well guided by an experienced teacher.
Cooperating teachers by virtue of their experience and training are best suited at this juncture to fill the gap left by the college tutors by offering guidance for the professional development of teacher trainees, and to expose them to alternative roles, which could bring richness and depth in the profession which will result in increased confidence and competence.
Farrant (2009) observes that, beginning teaching can be a difficult experience, this is so because, it may require many skills which the teacher trainee has little opportunity to develop, this then requires that an experienced teacher guides the novice teacher to grow and get established in the profession. However, how much of the above is being done by the practicing cooperating teachers in our practicing schools and what is the nature and impact of the mentoring relationship between them and the teacher trainees?
This study therefore, focused on the following aspect. Analysis of the mentoring relationship between cooperating primary school teachers and teacher trainees during teaching practice, by carefully analyzing the input of cooperating teachers to the teacher trainees on; preparation of schemes of work and lesson plans; selection and application of instructional methods, and guidance on professional ethics with a view to establish to what extent these roles are played
1.3 The Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was to analyze the mentoring relationship between cooperating primary school teachers and teacher trainees during teaching practice in Kakamega and Vihiga counties in Western Kenya.
1.4 Objective of the Study
The main research objective was:
To analyze the mentoring relationship between cooperating primary school teachers and student teacher trainees during teaching practice in Kakamega and Vihiga counties in Western Kenya.
The specific objectives were:
1. To establish how cooperating teachers assist the teacher trainees during the preparation of lesson plans and schemes of work.
2. To find out how cooperating teachers help teacher trainees in the selection and application of instructional methods.
3. To establish the extent to which cooperating teachers monitor and evaluate teacher trainees lesson presentations.
4. To find out how the cooperating teachers guide the teacher trainees on professional ethics.
1.5 Research Questions
The main research question was: How is the mentoring relationship between cooperating primary school teachers and student teacher trainees during teaching practice in Kakamega and Vihiga counties in Western Kenya.
The subsidiary research questions were:
1. In what ways do cooperating teachers assist teacher trainees in the planning for and in preparation of lesson plans and schemes of work?
2. In what ways do cooperating teachers assist the teacher trainees in selection and application of appropriate instructional methods?
3. To what extent do the cooperating teachers monitor and evaluate the lessen presentation of teacher trainees?
4. In what ways do cooperating teachers guide the teacher trainees on professional ethics?
1.6 Justification of the Study
Teaching practice is an important opportunity given to the teacher trainees to explore teaching and learn to teach in action while receiving support from the college supervisor and the cooperating teachers. During this period, cooperating teachers are required to take more responsibilities of guiding the teacher trainees in the absence of the college supervisors. This is so because they are readily available for consultation since it is not possible, for the college supervisors to visit the practicing schools on daily basis. Although some researches have been undertaken in this area of study such as; the role of teaching practice on the improvement of secondary schools teacher education by Andambi (1995), examination of teaching practice as a component of primary teacher training by Awour (1982), perception of student teachers and cooperating teachers towards teaching practice procedures by Karanja (1996), structure and organization of teaching practice in primary teachers training colleges by Mawaka (1982), effectiveness of micro- teachings a preparation skill for secondary school teachers training in Kenya by Otunga (1988) and study on teacher education responsiveness to educational technology needs in higher education by Mwaka (2008), none had been done on the analysis of mentoring relationship between cooperating primary school teachers and teacher trainees on teaching practices in Kakamega and Vihiga counties in Western Kenya.
The cooperating teachers were chosen because they provided the most useful information on the topic of study, and the teacher trainees were also the most appropriate in helping the study determine the challenges facing them, so as to allow the study come up with appropriate information that can be used at policy level. A study is needed to investigate the nature, and impact of the mentoring relationship between the cooperating teachers and teacher trainees in the practicing primary schools with a view to recommending reinforcement of the mentoring of the teacher trainees by the cooperating teachers during teaching practice as a practical solution to the challenges faced by teacher trainees in our teacher training program in Kenya thus making them not to achieve their long- life goals. The findings shall be to a large extent contributed to the re-engineering of this aspect in our teacher training programme.
1.7 Significance of the Study
The researcher hopes that this study will provide some insight to the teacher training college administrators, and the school manager on problems encountered by cooperating teachers (mentors) in performing their roles. Also, he intends to provide policy makers the basis in making decisions on how to improve the mentoring programme during teaching practice with a view to make the exercise more comprehensive, organized and systematic during implemented.
Although several researches have been undertaken on this area of study, none had been done on the analysis of mentoring relationship between cooperating primary school teachers and student trainee on teaching practice in Kakamega and Vihiga Counties in Western Kenya. The current study will help create general awareness on the link between trainees on teaching practice and cooperating teachers as their mentors.
The study results will help in identifying challenges encountered by teacher trainees while on teaching practice and seek to find solutions to the problems identified. This is to help in creating better understanding and relationship between the teacher trainees on teaching practice, cooperating teachers and other stakeholders in the education sector.
The study is instrumental to educational planners in the Ministry of Education on prioritizing the improvement of the effectiveness in teaching practice in our primary schools. The study sought to provides information relevant to curriculum development that would reveal other areas that might require further study. In line with the above, the findings of the study are expected to be useful to researchers by contributing significantly through its advancement of theoretical literature. The basis of the research is its theoretical understanding of the role of regular primary schools teachers as professional mentors of teacher trainees on teaching practice.
The desire of the researcher is that, the research is to be the base for further research on the perception of cooperating primary school teachers on their role as professional mentors of teacher trainees on teaching practice.
1.8 Scope of the Study
The study focused on the mentoring relationship between cooperating primary school teachers and student teacher trainee during teaching practice. The study was done in Kakamega and Vihiga counties. The target population was drawn from regular teachers of the primary schools used for teaching practice by Eregi and Kaimosi Teachers Training Colleges. The study targeted 1000 second year teacher trainees from Eregi and Kaimosi Teachers Training College and also 300 cooperating teachers from the 52 public schools in Kakamega & Vihiga counties in Western Kenya serving teacher trainees on teaching practice. A sample of 300 teacher trainees and 52 cooperating teachers was selected through simple random sampling techniques to yield a total of 352 respondents. The study was limited to those students in second year who had attended at least two sessions of teaching practice. The study focused on how the cooperating teachers assisted teacher trainees on schemes of work and lesson plan preparations, selection and application of instructional methods, lesson presentation, and professional ethics.
1.9 Limitations of the Study
The limitations of the study were:
1. This study was carried out in Kakamega and Vihiga counties which are among the many counties in the Republic of Kenya. This is so because the study could not be done in all the 47 counties due to time and financial constraints. The results obtained can be generalized to cover other counties in the country.
2. Some teachers may have declined from giving accurate information for fear of victimization. The fear was corrected by an assurance by the researcher that the responses were to be confidential and were to be confined to the study only. In addition, they were not required to indicate their names on the questionnaires.
1.10 Assumptions of the Study
The study made the following assumptions:
1. That the teacher trainees were in a position to perceive roles and characteristics of their immediate mentor teachers.
2. That the primary school teachers, teacher trainees and other stake holders were to provide useful information without any bias during the study period.
1.11 Theoretical Framework
This study was guided by the developmental supervision theory by Glickman (2003). The theory states that, the professional development of a teacher is the focus of the supervisors’ work where the teacher is helped to increase his conceptual level of development. Glickman describes a novice teacher as confused, lacking ideas, wants to be shown or directed and gives habitual responses to varying decisions. This is the state of a beginning teacher or a teacher trainee who needs to be guided. This guidance will help the teacher trainee grow professionally, it includes among others: offering direct assistance what is referred as “clinical supervision” and guidance on professional ethics, providing in service education and working with cooperating teachers in curriculum development. Glickman (2003) recognizes the fact that teachers are different and that they require different approaches. He broadens the prevailing understanding of supervision by emphasizing the importance of in- service education, curriculum development and action research. In this theory, the supervisor or the cooperating teacher is the mentor while the teacher trainee is the mentee.
The essential ingredient of professional development supervision include the establishment of a healthy general supervision climate, a mutual support system called “collegiality” and a circle of supervision comprising; conferences, observation of teacher trainee at work and pattern analysis. It is a partnership in inquiry whereby the person assuming the role of supervisor functions more as an individual with experience and insight than an expert who determines what is right and wrong.
In this theory the focus is on professional developmental supervision of beginning teachers or teacher trainees whom Glickman (2003) describes as a novice teacher, who is confused, lacks ideas, and wants to be shown or directed on what to do. The supervisor, in this case the cooperating teacher, will offer guidance to help the teacher trainee grow professionally. The guidance offered ranges from schemes of work and lesson preparations, selection and application of instructional methods, lesson presentation and on professional ethics. A cooperating teacher has to create a good environment to enable the trainee feel comfortable and share freely. The mentor mentee relationship should be cordial and confidential and there should be no suspicion from either party. Once an amicable relationship has been established the cooperating teacher should use that as a platform to guide the trainee.
The guidance sought involves discussing the methods of teaching, preparing lesson plans and lesson presentation in class where the cooperating teacher plays the role of a co-worker but in the capacity of a monitor and evaluator. After the lesson, both are expected to discuss the strengths and the weaknesses in the presentation with a view to improve on the subsequent lesson presentations. During the Teaching Practice period, the cooperating teacher is expected to assist the teacher trainee in maintaining professional documents, handling discipline cases of learners, evaluation of pupils work, and handling of learners with varied abilities. It is expected that, by the end of session, the cooperating teacher should have mentored the teacher trainee and that the trainee could have benefited from the guidance sought in the absence of college tutors.
The framework by Glickman (2003) is based on professional development supervision model which follows two lines of action; classroom supervision and out of class supervision. The purpose of professional supervision is; to develop and explicate a system of in-class supervision for the purpose of improving the teacher trainees classroom instruction and to help correct the neglect of in-class supervision and to establish it as a necessary compliment of out of-class supervision. Professional development supervision focuses on formative evaluation this is so because, the supervisor is interested in improving the teachers’ personal professional development. The framework looks at one aspect of mentoring which is classroom supervision.
This theory was therefore used to analyze the mentoring relationship between teacher trainees and cooperating teachers, in terms of how they assist teacher trainees in their professional development during teaching practice. This mentorship specifically centred on; schemes of work and lesson plan preparations, selection and application of instructional methods, lesson presentation and on professional ethics.
1.12 Conceptual Framework
Below is the Conceptual framework on the mentoring relationship between cooperating Primary school teachers and teacher trainees during teaching practice.
illustration not visible in this excerpt
Figure 1.1: Conceptual Framework
Source: Author (2011)
Independent variables are: Lesson preparation, instructional methods, monitoring and Evaluation, and professional ethics.
The dependent variable is: teacher professional competency Intervening variables are: availability of learning resources, induction of cooperating teachers on Teaching Practice management.
1.13 Operational Definition of Terms
For this study, the following definitions of terms apply. The terms are listed in alphabetical order for the convenience of the reader.
Protégé: A person under patronage or protection of another in the study it refers to the mentee who is a teacher trainee. Protégé: A person under patronage or protection of another in the study it refers to the mentee who is a teacher trainee.
College supervisor/tutor: A faculty member from the college who oversees and Supervise teacher trainees on teaching practice. This refers to the college tutor who assesses student teachers on Teaching Practice.
Cooperating teachers: A class teacher or subject teacher in a primary or secondary School that cooperates with the college supervisors to guide, help and supervise students’ teacher during the teaching practice in the host school. It refers to the teacher, whom the trainee will take over a class from during Teaching Practice.
Evaluation: A process of comparing performance data with clearly specified objectives. This is giving marks as per the teacher trainee performance in class a role played by both the college tutor and the cooperating teachers.
Feedback: It refers to ‘de-brief’ about what has taken place by reflecting on the nature of what has just transpired and assesses the extent to which the objectives have been achieved. It is a pre-observation or post evaluation was the performance is discussed. The study will investigate to what extent the cooperating teachers provide feedback to the teacher trainee after lesson observations.
Instructional methods: This is a strategy used by the instructor (teacher) to deliver Content to the learner in the most deafly and appropriate manner. In the study it refers to the ways the teacher trainee will deliver content to the class.
Lesson plan: This is a guide extracted from the scheme of work which the teacher uses as a guide while presenting a lesson. It has clearly defined method of instruction, teaching resources and the steps in the lesson development. This is part of the professional document expected to be prepared under the supervision of the college tutors and the cooperating teachers.
Lesson presentation: It refers to the process of passing knowledge from the teacher to the learner in a systematic manner ranging from introduction, lesson development, evaluation and conclusion. The study seeks to investigate in what ways cooperating teachers guide teacher trainees on the techniques of lesson presentation.
Mentoring: The interaction between a mentor teacher and his/her assigned teacher trainee.
Mentor Teacher: A teacher who has demonstrated, the mastery of teaching skills, Subject matter knowledge, and has been appointed by the principal of the training institution to provide emotional and pedagogical support to an assigned student teacher. It refers to the cooperating teacher in the thesis.
Monitoring: Monitoring is defined as collecting information at regular intervals about On-going projects or programme within the school system concerning the nature and the level of their performance. Both the college tutor and the cooperating teacher play this role through classroom observation.
Observation day: This is the day when teacher trainees visit the teaching practice Schools to collect data ranging from., subject content, school layout plan, learners sitting arrangement and their names, available teaching and learning resources within the school and the names of the cooperating teachers.
Practicum Program: A program designed to facilitate the professional growth and personal well being of teacher trainees during the practicum period. It’s referred to as teaching practice in the study.
Profession: This is an occupation that meets certain criteria among other things. A professional require training and knowledge, performs a social service and has a code of ethics, autonomy and personal responsibility. The study refers to teaching as a profession.
Professional ethics: This is a code containing rules and conduct to be observed so as to maintain the integrity, dignity and nobility of the profession. In the study this refers to the Teacher Service Commission code of ethics to be adhered to by any practicing teachers and on others who are aspiring to join it.
Regular teacher: An in-service classroom teacher to whose class the student teacher is assigned. In the study a regular teacher is cooperating teacher under whom the trainee will work with.
Role: The behavior expected from a person in a particular position, situations, in which Interactions between individuals repeat themselves in a regular pattern over a period of time. In this study, there is no attempt to use this term in a theoretically specialized and rigid way. The notion of ‘role’ is being referred to the behavior exhibited by the cooperating teacher and to be emulated by the teacher trainee.
Student teacher/ teacher trainee: A college student who participates in a teacher preparation program to practice teaching and learns the methodology and skills of teaching.
Student teaching Practice period: The period of guided or supervised teaching in the schools, under the supervision of the regular teachers, to develop and practice teaching skills. In this study, teaching practice / field experience/ school-based teaching are used interchangeably.
Teacher education program: The total college program required for prospective teachers, including courses in general education, subject areas to be taught and professional sequence. It ranges from theoretical to practical teaching.
Teacher trainee: Is a college student in the teacher education program assigned to teach a class in primary or secondary school during teaching practice period.
Teachers Training College: Institutions primarily involved in the training of teachers to meet both quantitative and qualitative aspirations of the Kenyan Education System. In the study the researcher is referring to primary teacher training colleges specifically Eregi and Kaimosi Teacher Training Colleges
Teachers Advisory Centre Tutor: A teacher in charge of a teacher’s advisory centre charged with the responsibility of helping in acquisition, classification, cataloguing Storage and distribution of teaching learning tenEa1s apart from helping teachers attain competence.
Triad: The three traditional roles of a student teacher, college supervisor, and regular Teacher whose intersecting relationships usually define the typical student teaching experience (Davey, 2001). In this study the triad members are the college Supervisors or tutors, the regular teacher and the teacher trainees who collaborate throughout the practicum. The term is used to include authority, functions, status, positions and character. In the study, tutors, cooperating teachers and teacher trainees form the triad.
1.14 Chapter Summary
This chapter served as a basic introduction to the study. The areas covered in this chapter include; the background of the study, the statement of the problem and objectives of the study. Research questions, the justification, significance scope and limitations of the study were explained. The chapter concludes with the professional development theory by Glickman which formed the basis of the study. The conceptual framework is also presented and operational definition of terms. The next chapter provides the literature review in relation to the study.
CHAPTER TWO LITERATURE REVIEW
The study focused on the analysis of the mentoring relationship between cooperating primary school teachers and teacher trainees during teaching practice. In the relevant literature ‘mentoring’, ‘mentor roles’, teacher education in Kenya, the role of teacher mentoring in teacher education reform, schemes of work and lesson plans, use of instructional methods in the teaching or learning process, monitoring and evaluation of lesson presentation, teaching as a profession and a review of the previous research done to the problem under investigation are discussed.
2.1 Teacher Education in Kenya
From a historical perspective, the profession of teaching in Kenya has its root in early missionary efforts to establish, and spread schools for the education of the masses. Early teacher training colleges or centres were intermediate schools as observed by ( Shiundu and Omulando, 1992). These centres over the years have developed into fully independent institutions in various levels of specialization under the administrative management of the Ministry of Education.
Missionary activities which begun in Africa, between 1880 and 1920 or even much earlier with the contact between Africa, and the outside world contributed immensely towards the teacher education, through the establishment of teacher training colleges. In order to have an in depth to the educational role of missionaries, it is vital to acknowledge that missionaries role in education was integrated with evangelical work. Besides schools and teacher training colleges being adjacent to each other, they were also located within the vicinity of churches or mission stations where formal instructions were given to Africans. It is at the same place where medical services were also offered to Africans as enticement to accept Christianity (Bogonko, 1992). Religious teachings have traditionally been the vehicle by which moral standards have been inculcated, this explains why religion was considered as a vehicle of “civilizing” Africans and why it had to be taught and propagate using western education. Teachers were necessary in propagating this, and this was one of the reasons missionaries established teacher training colleges.
The teaching profession in Kenya has undergone a metamorphosis, before and after independence, teaching as a profession consisted mainly of non-graduate teachers mostly at the primary level; at higher levels, the profession was monopolized by missionaries and other expatriates. Most indigenous people, especially of African descent, preferred jobs in the administrative cadre of the civil service. At independence, this difference became acute as indigenous graduate drifted away from the teaching service to occupy positions vacated by expatriates in the administration service. The teaching service became a reservoir of trained personnel for public and private recruitment to staff position which were localized at the time of independence (Eshiwani, 1993).
Teaching was a highly regarded profession before independence; this was so because teachers were regarded by the society as highly educated but, with opportunities in other professions for the indigenous, the teaching profession lost some of its original luster. In my view there might have been other factors which reduced the status of the teachers after independence; these could have been mainly age and moral standing. Most youthful teachers were not very much regarded by the society; this is so because traditional authority went according to the hierarchy of age. From my observation and experience, isolated incidents of lack of moral uprightness have also tended to dent the general image of the teachers who conduct immoral affairs with their pupils. The same practice has also caused serious harm to the image of the profession together with those who engage in financial irregularities and are eventually dismissed.
In May 1968 from 6th, to 9th, a conference on teacher education was held in Nairobi Kenya where the training of teacher trainers and their trainees was evaluated. To make teacher education more meaningful, and more realistic, it was recommended that, the final evaluation of teacher’s competence be suspended for a year and the tutors in teacher training colleges demonstrate to their trainees on how to teach a 6 or, a 15 years old learner’s class using a real school, and a real classroom situation as their own teacher trainees observed them teach physically. It was also recommended that the involvement of the regular classroom teacher or subject teacher and headmaster be adequately incorporated in the evaluation of the student teacher and that a combined team of tutors, classroom teachers and headmasters be the final arbiter as to who is a good or a bad teacher. It was the feeling of the conference that a few minutes visit by an external examiner or ministry or institute officials is far from satisfactory. In their conclusion, they observed that, those who work closely with student teachers over a period of time are more competent to decide on the competence of the teacher trainees than any fly-by night visitor who only saw them on one occasion (G0K, 1969).
Part of these recommendations were put in practice but, the suggestion of the supervisor and the co-operating teacher deciding the final fate of the teacher trainee during teaching practice has not been fully realized. During the conference, it was also pointed out that, the fundamental needs of every teacher is centred on knowledge and understanding of the society to which they belong and serve.
In the earlier conference on teacher education held in Nairobi in 1956 from 27th, to 30th, August, it was observed that, the first objective for any teacher training institution is to prepare graduates who understand and appreciate their own people, and the positive values in their ways of living. Both conferences observed that, for teachers to understand the dynamism of the society in which they belong, there was need to equip them with skills to enable them handle the varied abilities of there learners. According to GOK (1969), these abilities are not acquired overnight but though a process which must involve the training tutors and the cooperating teachers of the practicing schools. Though this observation on teacher training was made several decades ago, it remains valid to date, the government of Kenya has made an effort towards improving the training programme and this is emphasized in the Kenya Vision 2030 where, the specific strategy for teacher training is to modernize teacher training and strengthen partnership with the private sectors.
After independence, commissions were set up with a view to improve the quality of education and enable Africans access western education, among the commissions set were Ominde Commission of 1963, Mackey report of 1981 and the Koech Commission of 1999. All these efforts have led to the rapid growth and expansion of primary, secondary, tertiary and University education in Kenya. In the same vein, on teacher education, Teacher training colleges have also been established both private and public owned to train teachers.
Before independence and for sometimes afterwards, teachers in Kenya were trained at five different levels as outlined by Shiundu and Omulando (1992) as follows;- Kenya African Preliminary Education (KAPE) students graduated after two years of training as T3 teachers and were employed as grade II primary school teachers; school certificate (sc) i.e. form four certificate leavers did a two year teaching course and upon graduation were graded as T4 teachers and were employed as grade III primary school teachers;
London advanced G.C.E certificate or the Cambridge higher school certificate (HSc) trained at Makerere University and graduated with diploma in education, while some proceeded to do a bachelor degree in education first in Makerere, later the courses were introduced in Dar-es-salam and University of Nairobi, graduates of these institutions were to teach in secondary schools.
upon the implementation of00 the recommendations of Mackey report of 1981, 8-4-4 system was introduced, titles of examination levels also changed with the lowest being (KCPE) - Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and the highest academic certificate being (KCSE-) Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education. The certificate of primary education (CPE) was done for the last time in 1983, and the Kenya Junior secondary Examination (KJSE) and Kenya certificate of secondary education (KCSE) and Kenya advanced certificate of education (KACE) examinations were done for the last time in 1985,1987 and 1989 respectively (Eshiwani, 1993). P3 and P2 courses were discarded and Kenya ended up having only one cadre of primary teachers called P1, the requirement of this course currently being a KCSE certificate whose current minimum requirement is C (Plain). SI was replaced with Diploma in education but, Bachelor of Education has remained the same to date.
Following the recommendations of the Koech Commission of 1999, again radical changes have taken place in the teacher education programme, among them being, Primary teacher trainees not doing all the subjects offered in primary schools during there 2nd year of training. For example, in year one, they are exposed to all subjects but as they proceed to year two they are expected to choose between option A and B which are mainly art and science subjects oriented respectively with co subjects being English, Kiswahili, education and PE and the examining body for both options is (KNEC). In line with Kenya vision 2030 where Kenya intends to provide globally, competitive quality education, training and research, to reduce illiteracy by increasingly access to education, the government of Kenya has a specific strategy for teacher training which involves, equipping and modernizing teacher training colleges with a view to produce quality teachers (GOK, 2006).
The structure of teacher education since independence has been reformative and the changes have been in line with the country’s demand and government policy. Eshiwani (1993) states that, the society determines the nature and scope of the curriculum, he also observes that, education which does not address itself to social needs, values and expectations is bad and irrelevant, this observation justifies the reason as to why the Kenyan government has tried to re-structure her teacher education system to make it more relevant to the country’s needs, I believe that this could also be one of the reasons why structural changes have been taking place in Kenya since independence to date. As a result of the changes in the teacher education, the training of teachers in the country has improved the qualification and quality of grades produced at primary and secondary school graduates, this achievement has been attributed to the equipment of teacher training colleges with resources for learning and teaching in co and curriculum activities.
On international trend on teacher education, for example, in the United Kingdom, the school is seen as a partner in teacher training and is given funding as well as responsibility in managing teacher education (Coolahan J & Patrick F. O’Donavan 2009). In Switzerland, one of the key characteristics of a new teacher training college is that, teacher education programe attaches a lot of importance to hands – on experience in real school classes for the trainees. In Norway, teacher trainees typically work as salaried pre-certified teachers before and after their teaching course (Kyriacou, Hultgeven and Stephens, 1999).
According to session paper No. 1 of 2005, on a policy framework for education, training, and research, the teacher training sub-sector enrolment of teacher trainees in the 21 public colleges in 2003 was at 16,794 students with 8,515 females and 8,279 males up from 14,316 in 1999. This showed an upward trend on enrolment from 14,316 to 16,794 students. To empower teachers to operate within an all-inclusive education, the government of Kenya has embarked on a variety of strategies to meet this goal. Some of the measures taken by the government include among others, strengthening the capacity of TTC’s to train teachers in line with these needs and facilitate colleges to admit and train more teacher trainees with special needs to learn alongside with other students (GOK, 2005). Oketch and Asiach (1992) regard the teachers as key persons in the implementation of curriculum changes, and that they should be exposed during micro-teaching to the same type of situation which they will face when they are posted to schools to teach. Micro-teaching therefore which is part of teacher education programme, exposes the teacher trainee to this new environment as observed by (Asiach & Oketch 1992).
Currently, the primary teacher education programme which uses concurrent model, runs for two years with three teaching practices conducted at different times within the training period lasting for three weeks each. This organization is in line with the Ministry of Education on primary teacher training programme. The first two teaching practices are internally supervised by the college tutors, while the final teaching practice is supervised by the college tutors during the first two weeks and in the final week the session is left for external assessors from the Ministry of Education department of Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards (DQAS) who assess a sample of the total student teacher population to moderate grades given by internal assessment. In all the private and government run primary teacher training colleges, the curriculum is counselor and both the academic and professional subjects in education are being offered, this explains why Kenya National Examination Council sets a common examination for both categories of institutions. Eshiwani (1993) observes that, the assessment and certification of teacher trainees is centred through one external examination administered by Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC). These levels of assessment are vital, and the process helps in producing a quality teacher, the role of the cooperating teacher as mentors of teacher trainees during teaching practice is key in this aspect of teacher education.
2.2 The Role of Teacher Mentoring in Teacher Education Reform
When a beginning teacher or a teacher trainee on teaching practice commences work in a school, he or she is usually expected to take the same responsibilities as veteran colleagues. At the same time, he or she is expected to come to terms with observed set of established rules, relationships and ways of behaving, and an understanding that give a particular school its unique character (Bullough, 1989). Commencing teaching resembles a process of transition or rite of passage that is often described as “reality shock” (Veenman, 1984). The support provided to beginning teachers at this time is crucial to the quality of their immediate professional experiences as well as their long- term professional learning. Mentoring is one such form of professional support that has received wide spread attention and which has been implemented in a number of teacher education and induction programmes.
A mentor is a trusted wise counselor or a guide, tutor or a trainer. The mentor is often a person who is more experienced, wise, loyal advisor or coach. The mentor helps and guides the other individual’s development (Zanting Verloop and Vermunt, 2001). Even though mentoring is used in many settings it is most common in education, career development, business and also in medical setting.
The term ‘mentor’ is rooted in Homer’s epic poem ‘The Odyssey’ in which Odysseus, King of Ithaca gave the responsibility of nurturing his son Telemachus, to his loyal friend Mentor who was a man of integrity, an excellent friend, one who did not deal in lies and one who could speak out when necessary. Mentor educated and guided Odysseus’ son, this education included every facet of his life: physical, intellectual, spiritual, social and administrative development. ‘Since then, wise and trusted advisors have been called “mentors.”( Rieu, 1946).
Zanting et al (2001) observe that:
The phenomenon of mentoring has not yet been clearly conceptualized. Many Definitions to the concept are present in literature. A standard definition of Mentoring neither does nor exists in literature since mentor teachers interpret their own roles individually and therefore the nature of mentoring is idiosyncratic (P. 12).
Mentoring, if defined from a teacher education perspective, means assisting teacher trainees to learn how to teach during their teaching practice. Healy and Weichert (1990) define mentoring as;
A dynamic, reciprocal relationship in a work environment between an advanced career incumbent (mentor) and a beginner (protégé) aimed at promoting the career development of both In other words, both the mentor and the protégé benefit, improve, and expand their teaching repertoire (P. 17) .
Mentoring is a highly effective means of evoking purposefulness and so generate high levels of motivation and corporate/organizational intent. The teacher trainee is mentored through observations, question, and exploration. Mentors demonstrate, explain and are role models to the mentee. Mentoring relationships that grow out of the mentoring programme have these characteristics: A voluntary relationship; a one-to-one relationship; a flexible relationship in which mentor and mentee devise and revise agendas as they see it fit; A reciprocal relationship that offers both mentor and mentee opportunities for growth, refinement and more so a process rather than an end result. Adam (1998) describes the practicum as involving the integrated and collaborative efforts of the student teachers, regular teachers and college supervisors who are being referred as triad members. It is expected that, the triad should be working together with a view to develop the student teachers’ professional skills.
Wang & Odell (2000) argue that; in education; mentors are experienced teachers who have as part of their professional assignment, mentor pre-service or beginning teachers as they learn how to teach. White-hood (1993) sees mentoring as, a strategy for teaching and coaching, for strengthening character, promoting social change, and for creating opportunities for personal empowerment. Cooper (2006) explains that, working with a mentor or colleague allows the teacher trainee to obtain another perspective and to get a new idea regarding classroom problems.
Margaret Wilkin and Derek Sankey (1994) concluded that, student teachers are very anxious about their status in school and are able to learn most effectively when working closely with a mentor who is sensitive to their position as, adult learners and also recognizes that their confidence can all be too easily undermined.
The establishment of guidance and counseling department in the teacher education programme is in line with the recommendations of Koech Commission of (1999), who underscored the importance of involving competent teachers in teacher education reform effort. This implies that practicing teachers are important to the transformation of education system in a country and that, in order for teachers to lead the reform effort; they need to be offered expanded and enriched professional development experience.
The Kenya vision 2030 under education and training sector emphasizes on the importance of having competitive and quality education, training and research and modernization of teacher training programme (G0K, 2008). For this dream to be realized, the nation’s teaching force is expected to have access to capacity building programmes for continued improvement of their professional skills and the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills needed, to instruct and prepare all the Kenyan students for the next century. In exploring how to acquire this goal, educators are turning their attention and resources increasingly to the priority of professional development.
Teacher mentoring programmes are now perceived as an effective staff development approach for beginning teachers. By establishing teacher mentoring programmes, novice teachers are given a strong start at the beginning of their career, and experienced classroom teachers serving as mentors receive recognition and incentives for playing this role (Little and Nelson, 1990).
Researchers believe that mentoring can be a valuable process in educational reforms for beginning teachers as well as veteran teachers. Supporting beginning teachers at the onset contributes to retention of new teachers in the school system. Formalizing the mentor role for experienced teachers creates another niche in the career ladder for teachers and contributes to the teacher’s professional growth. The significance of mentoring beginning teachers has gained wider recognition throughout the country and has been fully integrated into the teacher education curriculum. As attention continues to be focused on teachers as key in educational reforms and on the need for ongoing improvement and support, mentoring becomes a necessary policy in our education system. Dilworth and Imig (1995) argue that, without focus on professional improvement for teachers, educational reform efforts will eventually fail.
The mentoring process extends far beyond supporting the induction of new teachers into the school system through professional guidance and encouragement. Shadiwo (1996) believes that, the heart of mentorship comes from a commitment to education, a hope for its future and a respect for those who enter into its community. Bey and Holmes (1992) argue that, mentoring is a more demanding process than classroom teaching and that even experienced teachers cannot always objectively assess the quality of teaching performance of beginning teachers. Also,
Staff development is crucial in creating successful mentoring relationship and plays a pivotal role in mentoring programmes. Although mentoring has served as a developer of human potential since Odysseus entrusted the education and care of his son Telemachus, much of what is called mentoring is not real mentoring as observed by (Little and Nelson,1990). Mentoring extends beyond induction and guidance, educators must understand the complexity of mentoring and implement the process with due attention to this complexity.
Mentoring remains a viable policy option in education. However, for purposeful mentoring to occur, a preliquisite is the acceptance of its complexity in carrying out the mentoring function, this implies careful planning. Teachers are valuable resources in education and a high quality performance in teaching is an essential ingredient of educational reform. To assist beginning teachers, it is necessary to support their performance in the classroom from the very beginning of their teaching careers. Support in the form of well-designed mentoring programmes can be pivotal in inducting new teachers into the profession. Quality teaching is therefore essential if the mission of education is to be fulfilled. It has been argued that, mentoring is the most effective way to transfer skills and knowledge quickly and inspire royalty in new employees to cooperate in an organization Nyambegera (2005).
It can therefore be concluded that, mentoring plays a critical role in continually improving the knowledge and the skills that teachers need to instruct and prepare students. It is a government policy in the teacher training programme that, teacher trainees take over classes from the cooperating teachers who in turn are expected to guide them through the teaching practice session. This formed the basis for the study which sort to establish to what extent the cooperating teachers mentor the teacher trainees on teaching practice. The study analyzed these roles under: The preparation of schemes of work and lesson plans, selection and application of instructional methods, monitoring, evaluation and guidance on professional ethics.
2.3 Schemes of Work and Lesson Plan Preparation
Practicing teaching in classroom is an essential element in programmes for learning to teach. Where classroom practice is not planned or controlled by experienced teacher educators, it may not be very conducive to learning. Wilkin and Sankey (1994), describe classroom life as, unpredictable for beginners that even if they deliberately try to practice particular aspects of their teaching, such plans can easily be disrupted by unexpected events. For a games player for example, practicing is much less satisfying than playing ‘real games’ like wise teacher trainees , similarly want to teach and not practice teaching. It is prudent for supervising teachers and teacher trainees to collaborate in approaching the task as one of trying to ensure that the teaching is as good as possible, while neglecting the possibilities of learning from success or from failure. Wilkin and Sankey (1994) say that, it is tempting to concentrate on being ‘a real’ teacher, to celebrate success and to forget perceived failures as quickly as possible, rather than to treat the teaching as a practice from which one seeks to learn.
Cooperating teachers have additional advantages over college supervisors because, their own classes are used by the teacher trainees also they belong to the staff of the school. The knowledge and experience they have gives them confidence in giving teacher trainees the learning experiences they need at different times especially during the time of planning for teaching in action.
According to Njeru (2010), planning helps the teacher to participate thoughtfully and effectively in classroom interaction and also to carry out a successful teaching practice exercise; one should have the necessary support to kick off on a good start. Planning therefore, produces a frame for action as preparation produces a frame of mind. Work planning therefore can be referred to as, the systemization of activities to be given out in a given time schedule in order to achieve a certain goal. Careful planning is the foundation of all good teaching from the first day to the last day of teaching. Kochar (1992) observes that, the nature of the lesson plan may change as the years go by, but planning should never stop. Tyler (1902-1994) as cited by Ornstein and Hunkins (1993), outlined the basic question a teacher should respond to during preparation which ranges from, educational purposes, experience, organization of experience and how to determine whether these purposes are being attained. Mental planning can also be looked at as the teacher’s spontaneous response to events in relation to the teaching and learning where the teacher considers situations and responds intuitively, it is also part of teaching that is crucial for effectiveness but, it cannot be easily observed, recorded or detailed. Therefore it goes unnoticed and unmentioned as part of the planning process. Formal planning produces a frame of action and this is what teachers recognize as legitimate and necessary teaching activity, it is structured and documented. This structured and documented item is called a lesson plan. Kochar (1992) defines it as, a plan of action which includes the working philosophy of the teacher, her knowledge of philosophy, her information about and understanding of her pupils, her comprehension of the objectives of education, her knowledge of the material to be tough and her ability to utilize effective methods. Because of this nature of preparation a new teacher requires a lot of guidance from the cooperating teacher to lay the foundation before the actual classroom teaching or presentation.