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Teacher Thinking Associated with Science-Specific Mentor Preparation

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Science Education Volume 94, Number 6, ISSN 0036-8326


Framed by sociocultural theory, the purpose of the study was to understand the cultural tools used by science teachers when leaning to mentor and how tool use may lead to the construction of new understandings about mentoring. The participants were 37 experienced teachers enrolled in a federally funded science-specific mentor preparation program. Data took the form of interview transcripts, electronic bulletin board postings, and written cases. Program participants were found to use a range of tools to mediate their thinking about science teacher mentoring. Analysis of data revealed that the participants used the discourse of science teaching as well as such tools as classroom observation strategies and interpersonal mentoring approaches, to mediate their thinking about mentoring. The participants' tools also included images that mediated their responses to specific mentoring challenges and dilemmas that highlighted for them contradictions in their thinking about mentoring. The cultural tools used by the science teachers when learning to mentor provide insight into how they think about science teacher mentoring and the nature of the professional learning experiences needed to enable them to develop as mentors. (Contains 2 tables and 1 footnote.)


Koballa, T.R., Kittleson, J., Bradbury, L.U. & Dias, M.J. (2010). Teacher Thinking Associated with Science-Specific Mentor Preparation. Science Education, 94(6), 1072-1091. Retrieved July 3, 2022 from .

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