Physical education mentors in initial teacher training: who cares?
AffiliationUniversity of Chester; Liverpool John Moores University
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AbstractPurpose – The broad aim of this paper is to use Noddings’ theory of ethical care to analyse mentors’ caring experiences. More specifically, it aims to analyse how physical education (PE) mentors provide care, how they are cared for, and how this impacts their role within the context of secondary PE initial teacher training (ITT). Design – Semi-structured interviews were used to generate data from 17 secondary PE mentors within the same university ITT partnership in the north-west of England. Questions focused on the mentors’ experiences of care and the impact this had on their wellbeing and professional practice. A process of thematic analysis was used to identify, analyse, and report patterns in the data. Findings – The participants reflected established definitions of mentoring by prioritising the aim of developing the associate teachers’ (AT) teaching rather than explicitly providing support for their wellbeing. This aim could be challenging for mentors who face personal and professional difficulties while supporting the training of an AT. Mentors frequently referred to the support of their departmental colleagues in overcoming these difficulties and the importance of developing interdependent caring relationships. Receiving care did not impede mentors from providing support for others; it heightened awareness and increased their desire to develop caring habits. Originality – Teacher wellbeing has drawn greater attention in recent years and is increasingly prioritised in public policy. These findings highlight the value of mentor wellbeing and how caring professional relationships can mitigate the pressures associated with performativity and managing a demanding workload.
CitationJones, L., Tones, S., Foulkes, G., & Newland, A. (2023). Physical education mentors in initial teacher training: who cares?, International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education. vol(issue), pages. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-05-2023-0042
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