Development and Validation of the ‘Mentoring for Effective Teaching Practicum Instrument’
In the context of improving the quality of teacher education, the focus of the present work was to adapt the Mentoring for Effective Primary Science Teaching instrument to become more universal and have the potential to be used beyond the elementary science mentoring context. The adapted instrument was renamed the Mentoring for Effective Teaching Practicum Instrument. The new, validated instrument enables the assessment of trainee teachers’ perceived experiences with their mentors during their two-week annual teaching practicum at elementary and high schools. In the first phase, the original 34-item Mentoring for Effective Primary Science Teaching instrument was expanded to 62 items with the addition of new items and items from the previous works. All items were rephrased to refer to contexts beyond primary science teaching. Based on responses on an expanded instrument received from 105 pre-service teachers, of whom 94 were females in their fourth year of study (approx. age 22–23 years), the instrument was reviewed and shortened to 36 items classified into six dimensions: personal attributes, system requirements, pedagogical knowledge, modelling, feedback, and Information and Communication Technology due to outcomes of Principal Component and Confirmatory Factor analyses. All six dimensions of the revised instrument are unidimensional, with Cronbach alphas above 0.8 and factor loadings of items above 0.6. Such an instrument could be used in follow-up studies and to improve learning outcomes of teaching practice. As such, specific and general recommendations for the mentee, mentors, university lecturers, and other stakeholders could be derived from the findings to encourage reflection and offer suggestions for the future.
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