Markey, Camille Fitzpatrick. “Content Mentoring in Teacher Education: Its Value for Teacher Candidates and Their Arts and Sciences Faculty Mentors”, PhD, Boston College, 2009. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/737.
This qualitative study examines the value of content mentoring for pairs of arts and sciences faculty members and teacher candidates in the same discipline. The researcher utilized participant interviews, demographic surveys, and student teacher performance assessments of four pairs of arts and sciences faculty members and student teachers (eight total participants) who participated in Boston College's semester-long One-on-One Content Mentoring program during the Fall 2008 semester. The researcher used a sociocultural theoretical perspective and interpretive qualitative analysis techniques to explore this problem and describe how content mentoring influences mentors and mentees. This study's focus on a content-specific mentoring initiative--especially its influence on mentors as well as mentees--has rarely been used in education research. Results indicate that content mentors gain increased exposure to and understanding of K-12 school realities, a better understanding of the Boston College Lynch School's mission "to teach for social justice," new perspectives on K-12 teacher preparation, and a renewed interest in pedagogy in their own classes. Analysis of content mentor results also raise cautions that professors' views on social justice not be reflective of a deficit model of education. Results also indicate that teacher candidates gain content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, confidence in their teaching abilities, better understanding of professional development, and a deeper understanding of social justice in teaching. Limitations to the study include a small sample size and the duration of the study. Recommendations for future study include increasing sample size and expanding research over a longer period of time. The researcher provides implications and recommendations for content mentoring program initiatives.