Boag-Munroe, Gill (2007)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
A study of the literature relating to Initial Teacher Education (ITE) suggested that, while mentors had been studied as instruments of their partnership Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), there was little work which investigated the mentor as acting subject in ITE. Through an analysis of spoken and written data, this empirical study offers insights into how two teachers in a secondary school in England appeared to develop subjectivities to assist them in their work in ITE, in the context of the HEI partnership and government policy for ITE. A post-Vygotskyan Activity Theory (Engeström, 1987) and Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough, 1995) were used to explore the rules and conceptual and language tools that those teachers seemed to be drawing on when they worked as mentors. The study concludes that, even though the school or partnership appeared to offer few spaces for the development of robust identities, where a mentor had a pre-existing strong pedagogic orientation to mentoring, s/he was better able to construct a subject identity to help her work with students. Where a mentor lacked such a pedagogic orientation and drew on more managerial approaches, s/he experienced more tension in mentoring work and struggled to find an identity which might resolve those tensions.
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