School Mentors’ Assessment of Science Student Teachers during Teaching Practicum

Thomas D.T. Sedumedi, Fhatuwani J. Mundalamo


This study focuses on the process of mentoring, in particular the mentoring on subject matter knowledge during teaching practicum. Although student teachers were expected to teach during teaching practicum, we still consider such teaching as a learning process where well-equipped subject specialists such as schoolteachers are mentors. The assessment of teaching practicum at schools plays a major role in shaping a student teacher. It is therefore important to know both who assesses student teachers when they are learning in schools and what it is the assessors are assessing. Assessors of teaching practicum at schools are usually the university teacher educators. In this study, we investigated how mentors scored the student teachers against an instrument, their comments, and the value of such scores and comments in a student teacher’s development. The average student teacher as judged by mentors performed well in all the variables assessed. These were divided into three categories, namely teaching strategies (79.6%) subject matter knowledge or mastery of learning content (78.2%); and classroom interaction or communication and learner involvement (75.6%). Although the mentors’ comments per item ranged in frequency from 6.4% to 56.0%, the pattern was the same as for marks allocated. Mentors focused more on assessing teaching strategies (56.0%), followed by praise of the student teacher (29.6%). As in the case of marks allocated, subject matter knowledge (8.0%) and classroom interaction (6.4%) were scored very low.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n20p1511

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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