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

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4.2 Collaborative planning and teaching

Planning and evaluation are essential aspects of teaching, but very difficult to observe. Through working together and collaboratively planning, teaching and evaluating lessons, the student teacher can learn how experienced teachers carry these out. Involving student teachers in the minutiae of lesson planning is an important part of helping them to develop competence in this key area of teaching. In particular, it will help them to understand how the parts of a lesson fit together. This is a worthwhile activity at any level of a course, as different issues (e.g. differentiation or assessment for learning) come into focus for the student teachers.

In terms of the challenge this approach affords, working together involves the mentor and the student teacher in making decisions, which in turn creates a dialogue about pupil learning and teaching approaches. In this dialogue it is important that the student and mentor have an equitable relationship including justifying and explaining their intentions and challenging each other to ensure that the outcome is best suited to the class, year group and curriculum demands. The mentor as questioner or challenger is an essential part of the role.