Critical reflection and authentic mentoring relationships in Initial Teacher Education.
This article argues that mentoring relationships between student teachers and lecturers can be enhanced when lecturers participate in personal critical reflections of their role and practice. Current literature acknowledges the need for successful practice-based mentoring and assessment relationships, with students stating these relationships support their professional growth. Mentoring is defined as a connection that encompasses nurturing, guiding, and encouraging. The Initial Teacher Education (ITE) lecturer role includes supporting a student teacher to develop their own understandings of critical reflection however the journey of reflection must begin with the lecturer. Lecturers using this approach to mentoring relationships will cultivate authentic and meaningful connections for student teachers, leading to successful outcomes. This article explores why lecturers themselves must engage in critical reflection when mentoring student teachers in Early Childhood Education (ECE) ITE. This article reflects concepts gathered from the research I completed towards a master’s degree that explored mentoring and power relations within ECE ITE, specifically focussing on the relationships between student teachers and their lecturer mentors. Reflections on my research and the implications these reflections have for my current role and practice as an ECE ITE lecturer will be explored within this article.
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