International Association of Educators   |  ISSN: 1308-951X

Volume 4 Issue 2 (June 2013)

Original Articles

Mentoring in a Professional Development Program for Novice Teachers at a State University in Turkey: A Qualitative Inquiry

Burak Tomak & A. Cendel Karaman

pp. 1 - 13


In the last three decades, in teacher education, there has been a strong emphasis on the improvement of practice through reflective learning and teaching. This can be done either through individual study or with collaboration among teachers. In this context, the role of sociocultural learning in teacher education has also been explored (Johnson, 2009). For teachers to learn from one another, collaborative work is required. This study focused on the context of collaboration between novice teachers and experienced mentors as part of an In-service Training (INSET) program at a School of Foreign Languages in astate university located in Western Turkey. The purpose of the study was to explore the experiences of beginning novice teachers and investigate whether these teachers experienced professional development in connection with the collaboration with the experienced instructors. In this study, we also sought to understand whether the experienced teachers who acted as mentors of the novice teachers benefited from their engagement in the INSET program as mentors Four novice teachers and four experienced mentors participated in the study. All participants were interviewed to explore these teachers’ views on their professional development during the INSET program. Results revealed that neither the novice teachers nor experienced mentors considered major shifts in their teaching styles after participation in the professional development program. We found that two groups of participants had commenced the program with divergent interests. While the novice teachers expected to learn from their experienced mentors about how theories they had learned in their undergraduate programs could be applied in practice, the mentors anticipated that they could learn some new techniques and classroom activities from the novice teachers.

Keywords: teachereducation, INSET program, mentoring, noviceteachers, experiencedteachers

Pre-Service Science Teachers’ Views About A Two-Column-Writing Activity

Canan CENGİZ & Faik Özgür KARATAŞ

pp. 14 - 24


In the age of science and technology one of the aims of higher education is developing individuals’ lifelong learning abilities. To achieve this aim it is important to develop individuals’ higher order thinking skills. One of the higher order thinking skills is reflective thinking, and two-column writing is one of the ways of developing reflective thinking. The purpose of this study is to determine 10 first grade pre-service science teachers’ views about twocolumn writing process. A semi-structured interview protocol was developed and employed to collect data. Findings of the study showed that most of the pre-service science teachers are positive regarding to two-column writing process. However, a few pre-service teachers indicated that they could not benefit from either the summary or the reflective journal part of the two-column writings. The pre-service teachers stated that keeping reflective journals help them gain information about their learning styles and determine their learning deficiencies and find solutions for them. In addition, the results showed that the pre-service science teachers, who earned lower reflection level scores from their journals, do not see and appreciate benefits of keeping reflective journals. In further research it is suggested that a combination of teaching methods should be employed to develop reflection skills of pre-service science teachers whose reflection level is low and the assignments should be scored to encourage pre-service science teachers to prepare the assignments properly.

Keywords: Two-column writing, reflection, reflective thinking, reflection level, pre-service science teachers