Student teachers’ mentorship experiences during teaching practice: A comparison of mentor-student dynamics in rural and urban schools




Mentors, perceptions, rural schools, student-teachers, teaching practice, urban schools


All teacher training institutions in South Africa send their student teachers to schools for teaching practice as part of preparation for the teaching profession. Our concern is that while teaching practice programmes have been established across various universities, limited research explores student teachers' perceptions of teaching practice and mentorship in general, especially in rural and urban schools. In this article, we explored student teachers' comparative experiences and perceptions of working with mentors from both rural and urban schools during teaching practice. Within an interpretive paradigm, this study utilised qualitative approach involving 15 third-year Bachelor of Education students. The data were generated through the use of their reflective journals as well as group debriefing discussions. To analyse the data, we employed Fairclough's Critical Discourse Analysis. The findings reveal that student teachers encountered different mentor teachers in both rural and urban schools, ranging from mentors who were willing to help them learn and develop knowledge about the teaching profession to those who were reluctant to work with them. The student teachers felt unsupported by rural mentors compared to their mentorship experiences with urban mentors, as rural mentors sometimes abandoned classes for them. There is a need for the induction of school-based mentors into university expectations of their roles to ensure that they effectively support student teachers during teaching practice.


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How to Cite

Mbhiza, H. W., Nkambule, T. ., & Masinire, A. (2024). Student teachers’ mentorship experiences during teaching practice: A comparison of mentor-student dynamics in rural and urban schools. Interdisciplinary Journal of Education Research, 6, 1-14.