Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Become an OU student

Download this course

Share this free course

Learning to teach: mentoring and tutoring student teachers
Learning to teach: mentoring and tutoring student teachers

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Learning to teach: mentoring and tutoring student teachers


This course introduces the roles of the mentor and tutor in supporting student teachers. It explores the similarities and distinctions between these two roles, the need to balance student teacher support with appropriate levels of challenge and some commonly used approaches for supporting student teachers development.

Student teachers may be supported by a mentor in school and a tutor at university or by mentors and tutors who are both based within school contexts. The aim of this course is to highlight how student teachers benefit from the involvement of two professionals with distinct, but different, roles.

Supporting beginner teachers, whether as a mentor or a tutor, can be a professionally rewarding experience, despite the time and energy involved. It provides opportunities to share good practice, and to connect with the latest research and developments in both subject pedagogy and broader educational practice. It provides an opportunity to engage in critically reflective dialogues about practice, with both the beginner teacher and others who support them.

For many, mentoring or tutoring is a valuable CPD opportunity as well as providing important evidence on a CV of involvement in the latest educational developments. This course is underpinned by the belief that, from the student teacher’s point of view, both roles are important in supporting and guiding them, wherever the people concerned are based, and it aims to explore the differences and similarities between these two roles.

This OpenLearn course is part of a collection of Open University short courses for teachers and student teachers [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .