Challenging the Student:

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1)   Sharing Practice:


1)   Sharing Practice:

      Important decisions and processing of information about the pupils is hidden from the inexperience observer.
      Observers only see what they understand and, in the early days of learning to teach, student teachers may have little understanding of the complexities of teaching.
      Student teacher need a great deal of help when observing lessons, even when they are mature candidates with a wide range of other life and career experiences.
      The mentor has a key role in helping the student teacher to examine critically the strengths and weaknesses of lessons through carrying out an analysis of their own teaching: evaluating and sharing practice with their student teacher and modelling the process of critically reflecting on practice.
      This process involves:
u  The student teacher observing the mentor
u  The mentor talking about what the student saw during the observation
      It is valuable for mentors to discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of their own practice.

  2) Collaborative Planning and Teaching:

      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 thee parts of a lesson fit together.
      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.


3)   Co-analysis of practice:
      A common situation in which mentors challenge student teachers is through the process of observing lessons.
      Observations are most useful as a learning tool when they are followed by an opportunity for the mentor and student teacher to debrief the sessions, consider the implications of what happened and set targets for further development.
      This process of observation and debriefing is called co-analysis of practice and provides opportunity for formative assessment and for critical self-reflection.
      Post observation analysis:
u  The discussion after an observed lesson should be structured so that the mentor and student teacher analyse the session together.
u  An important aspect of this process is to draw attention to what evidence either the mentor or the student teacher can bring to support their view.
u  A balance needs to be struck between giving feedback that is positive in order to build up the student teacher’s confidence; giving guidance and suggesting changes in order to develop; and supporting reflectivity and self-evaluation.
u  As the student teacher progresses through the course they will need to be challenged to set their own agenda for development, and to develop a rigorous approach to self-evaluation.


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