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ERIC Number: EJ1171296
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1090-1027
When Tensions between Ideology and Practice Become Personal: Unpacking Mentorship in Early Childhood Teacher Education
Yoon, Haeny S.; Larkin, Kelly Ann
Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, v39 n1 p50-72 2018
University-based teacher education programs are criticized for being too theoretical, disconnected from the everyday realities of schools. To bridge this gap, teacher education programs give students year-long field experiences under the joint tutelage of mentor teachers and university faculty. However, this assumes that mentor teachers will not only be exemplary teachers, but skilled mentors as well. This article explores the tensions between the theoretical and practical work of teaching within mentoring relationships, specifically in spaces where teacher agency is limited by political, social, and cultural factors. The sociocultural, language approaches in many teacher education programs are seen as idealistic when pushed up against skills-based language approaches, advocated in classrooms. Using qualitative methods, this project follows three mentor/mentee pairs as they negotiate their relationships in an urban area in the Southwest United States. While all three pre-service teachers strongly believed that learning was a social practice, constructed through child inquiry and play, they struggled to maintain their ideologies and beliefs during their field experience. Pre-service teachers held firmly to their beliefs about teaching and learning, but holding onto these beliefs were wrought with personal and philosophical tensions. Pre-service teachers found limited agency in their practice and little support in implementing their own practices. Most importantly, unequal power dynamics and communication issues were obstacles towards mutually beneficial mentorship. Thus, preservice programs must address the importance of developing and cultivating the mentor/mentee relationship--a relationship that is pivotal in the construction of preservice teachers' identities and practices.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Arizona
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A