Mentoring is widely acknowledged as an important determinant in the type of support given to pre-service teachers’ prior to their entry to the profession. Mentors, as cooperating teachers, provide valuable in situ opportunities for professional learning in the practicum settings.
The present study articulates four mentoring roles (or profiles) that arise from research using the 62-item Mentoring Profile Inventory (MPI). The MPI automatically provides a report to the user divided into three sections: (1) dimensions of motivators for and challenges to mentoring; (2) separate motivator and challenge balance charts; and (3) a mentoring profile grid. The grid, which is the focus of this paper, distinguishes four roles that encompass the work of cooperating teachers within the context of mentoring: partner, advocate, nurturer, and facilitator. The grid is a graphic representation of the emphasis that a mentor places on each of the four roles as part of their mentoring practice. These four roles emerged from the analysis of the MPI responses from 1950 cooperating teachers from fifteen countries.
This research adds new insights to the existing body of research on mentoring by articulating an overall profile based on the four roles for a mentor where each role is directly induced from empirical response patterns of mentors (not deduced from an a priori framework). This research may enable teacher educators to better support the professional development of mentors in practicum settings according to an individual mentor’s profile or an aggregate profile for a cohort of mentors