Extending the teacher educator role: developing tools for working with school mentors

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This article considers the ways in which a group of university-based teacher educators work with school-based mentors (cooperating teachers). Owing to a number of changes in teacher education policy in England, feelings of marginalisation from the teacher educators are presented before exploring how they undertake their work with school mentors. Using a cultural and historical activity theory lens through which to view interview data, the analysis explores how teacher education activity has changed over the nine years since first interviewing the teacher educators. The findings identify three tools which mediate the work with school mentors. How the teacher educators perceive these tools is analysed in order to compare work intentions driven by the object motive of the teacher education activity with those advocated in the teacher education research literature. Collaborative working practices established by appropriating tools developed from scholarship activity around subject journals, research projects and mentor collectives suggest ways forward for enhancing the teacher educator role. This role is diversifying in teacher education in England with the introduction of new school-based training routes for beginning teachers. Consequently, there is growing need for greater clarity around the work, training and professional development opportunities for teacher educators in England.

© 2016 International Professional Development Association (IPDA). The attached document (embargoed until 29/05/2018) is an author produced version of a paper published in Professional Development in Education, uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19415257.2016.1258655. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
JournalProfessional Development in Education
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2016


  • teacher educators, tools, cultural historical activity theory

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