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Teacher Education @ A Distance

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danelle kritzinger

on 21 August 2014

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Transcript of Teacher Education @ A Distance

“No job competes with the responsibility of shaping and moulding a (new) human being.” - James C Dobson
Narrative reflections from mentor teachers and student teachers
The main
of this study
Teaching Practice (TP) as an ODeL challenge for Unisa: Emotional Intelligence (EI) approach for mentor teachers as a possible solution?
irical study & F


Be a role model:
“I want to set an example to inspire my students” “I want my students to shadow me; especially the first week, to support them with the interaction and relationship building with my colleagues and learners” “I want to make a difference in education”

Provide a positive, professional, caring and nurturing working and learning environment:
“Show a genuine concern in your students and help them along their journey”
“Only a well prepared teacher deserves the respect of the learners and student teachers”

Make students feel welcomed, valued and respected as a member of the staff:
“…feed your students self-worth and emphasise the importance of your students potential.

Encourage the students to express their opinions:
“Create opportunities where the students can share their creative ideas or even share their problems”

Be a councilor:
“…listen with your ears and not with your mouth, but rather advise, reassure, motivate and encourage the students with sensitivity and empathy”

Provide a nurturing invitational and warm teaching and learning climate:
“I try to make my classes very interesting, as it can become very boring without technology”

Build a sound relationship of trust and understanding:
“I have a close motherly relationship with the students; I look on them as one of my own and am always honest with them. I treat them as adults and teachers, but always bear in mind that they are inexperienced and need emotional guidance as well”

Live your passion for teaching:
“I love, I love, I love to teach ….”
“You have to be a performer and you have to enjoy what you are doing”
“I love to see the spark in my learner’s eyes especially when they understand the work; and I want to create a spark for teaching amongst the student teachers”

FRIDAY, 11 April, 2014
Vol XCIII, No. 311
larification of key concepts

Complexity of two tuition environments: Distance can be overcame through connection; but training is practice
Emotional intelligence (EI)

can be described as an ability, capacity or skill to perceive, assess and manage the emotions of one’s self (intra-personal) and of other people (inter-personal) (Dann, 2008: 2).

“The first step towards achieving good emotional intelligence (EI) is to develop your own emotional self-awareness. Being emotionally intelligent therefore means knowing yourself” (Wilding, 2013: 3). “‘Other’ awareness… means extending our emotional intelligence from understanding ourselves to understanding other peoples’ emotions”(Wilding, 2013:63).
Teacher Education @ A Distance Conference
“ The changing roles of academics as educators of teachers in an ODeL context"

Background of the study
Approach of academics to face new challenges on the Educational x TP landscape.
Is Emotional Intelligence (EI) approach for mentor teachers a possible solution in an ODeL context?

Can mentor teachers be trained as bridge builders in an ODeL context?

How can academics as educators of teachers in an ODeL context, over bridge the distance between the academic (trainer) and the student?
arch Design

Theoretical Framework
Phenomenological Approach
Challenging to implement IPET, because Unisa is an Open Distance Learning institution.
School based teaching is essential to the professional development of the TP student.
They must learn as mush as possible about what is happening at the school.
To build trust, understanding and respect, the mentor should be a sympathetic, caring and experienced teacher who will develop in the student teacher an ability to analyse critically his/her practice, and with reflection, to be able to modify the student teacher’s behaviour for best practice.
(Louw & Du Toit, 2010: 133)
Concrete: Supervisors and academics
This theory foregrounds “… the [affective] meaning that individuals assign to their experiences (Eloff & Ebersöhn, 2004: 380).
Through the “lens” of this theory, the presenters will gain insight into the mentoring approach of 2 mentor teachers
a better understanding of 2 student-teachers’ experience of their teaching practice.
“Object of phenomenological study is to gain insight into people’s understanding ( experience) of, and perspectives on a particular situation.”
(Schumaster, 2006:315)
Focusing on 2 mentor teachers and their views on mentoring and 2 student-teacher’s experiences.
Case studies focus attention on a “
” – one individual, one group, one issue to learn more about the phenomenon under investigation – involving participants “… with a voice… as experts in the setting.”
(Walshaw, 2012: 67)
In-depth understanding of the participants’ feelings and unique experiences at specific schools during the teaching practice period; a multi-case study approach.

is a broad concept and is of an intuitive nature that may include, for example, guiding, advising, educating, nurturing professional growth and coaching, which could be regarded as a particular form of mentoring with specific focus on performance (Ulvik & Sunde, 2013: 2).
“Mentors need to address both student teachers’ emotional and professional needs as well as their students’ needs to improve teaching and learning, which is the overall aim of mentoring.”
(Timperley, 2010:8)

ODeL Open Distance and e-Learning
: Observation, unstructured interviews, multiple case studies, narrative reflection.

Sample size
: Limited to four participants, namely two mentor teachers and two student teachers.

The sites
: One multicultural primary school for girls in the Eastern Cape and one multicultural secondary school for boys in Gauteng is based on
purposeful sampling
as described by McMillion and Schumaster (2010: 138) as selecting subjects with certain characteristics.

“Mentor teachers need to address both beginning teachers’ [student teachers’] emotional and professional needs, to improve teaching and learning, which is the overall aim of mentoring”
(Timperley, as in Ulvik & Sunde, 2013: 3)
“Mentors need mediating skills and emotional intelligence (Hargreaves & Fullan, as in Ulvik & Sunde, 2013: 2) to support newly qualified teachers…”
Treat people as valuable & able

Co-operative education Sharing of info working together
People have untapped potential
Purpose and direction
high nurturing environments
fosters productivity
& motivation
High N
Environments foster a spirit of acceptance and care for everyone
Final c

It is clear that the research findings of this study substantiate the fact that,
to be a successful mentor in a teaching practice context
, the teacher should be aware of the important role that EI can play when training student teachers.
As “counsellor / guide / pastor” the mentor teacher should be …
(critical EI attributes) of the student teachers’ personal and interpersonal relationships with learners, co-colleagues and parents of the school community and whether the student teachers’ need special emotional support and guidance in this regard
committed to act as a
role model
by setting an example of being a person who serves his/her teaching profession with academic pride, and a willingness to try to understand other peoples’ feelings (student teachers, co-colleagues, learners and parents of the school community) with
Any questions?
“No job competes with the
responsibility of
shaping and
molding a new

(James C. Dobson)
Teachers are the largest single occupational group and profession in the country. Their role has strategic importance for the intellectual, moral, and cultural preparation of our young people. They work in extremely complex conditions, largely due to the pervasive legacies of apartheid, but also as a result of the new policies needed to bring about change in education (Government Gazette, 26 April 2007).
At the launch of a partnership between Unisa and the Department of Basic Education, Prof Mandla Makhanya referred to the important role that we have to play as the leading institution for teacher education in South Africa - Unisa provides nearly 50% of the country’s teachers; in this regard Unisa has a duty and commitment to produce quality teachers (Pretoria News, July 2013).
Changing roles of academics
as teachers
: a new emphasis
Reconfirmation of Unisa’s academics’ “core business” with reference to tuition support of the students with the required and relevant knowledge and skills to meet the continuous technological demands and radical challenges that have to be met in the millennium era.

Student teachers have to be made aware of the changing dynamics of the educational landscape in SA - reality shock for novice teachers?
Generation Y: Millennium learner (Born 1980 – 2000)
Typical characteristics of the Generation Y (On-line learner):

Technology class or...
Replacing books ...
Learning expectation “on-line”: HUGE PARADIGM SHIFT!
“Today’s young people see the work market …."
“They’re used to always be in touch …."

They (Generation Y) cannot believe there was ever a time when the world existed without email, the Internet, the World Wide Web and being able to sms on a cell-phone (Codrington and Grant-Marshall – 2012: 11).
Teaching practice
is the core of the IPET curriculum, progressing from observation, to assisting [mentoring], to team teaching to independent teaching and cutting across all four competences. It is future directed.
Open Distance e-Learning (ODeL) combines the strengths and advantages of Open Distance Education and e-Learning. The focus is shifted to the education transaction in the form of virtual community of learners sustainable across time. At Unisa, students study in their own space, not on campus. They learn from a distance… and connect via the internet…., they control when, where and how they study.
Empirical Study
Research methodology
Be a role model:

My mentor teacher tries to set an example of a person that has passion for her subject and she really loves the children…she always says one teacher can change a child’s outlook on life”
"As I observed my mentor teacher, I came to the conclusion that there is no choice in being a role model, it comes with the job, BUT she shared with me that you can decide what kind of role model you want to be. You are in the position to make a difference, USE IT!"

Provide a positive, professional, caring and nurturing working and learning environment:

“I feel accepted as my mentor teacher tries to encourage and inspire me… In the beginning I told my mentor teacher that teaching practice is not easy but she ensured me and motivated me to believe in my abilities and….. I love teaching so much now because I know I can also make a difference in children’s lives”

Make students feel welcomed, valued and respected as a member of the staff:

“…yes, my mentor teacher listens to my needs and will even ask all the student teachers as a group to share their problems and assists us to find solutions. I really appreciate the fact that I have an open relationship with my mentor …”
"my mentor teacher regarded me as one of her colleagues. She gave me more responsibility than I initially thought I would have, which in it self made me feel valued and part of the staff. Feeling welcome and being respected has so much more value to a student teacher. It gave me confidence in the classroom and made me realise that THIS is how I should make my learner's feel welcome and respected!"
Encourage the students to express their opinions
“Mrs… gives constructive critique and gives us opportunities to talk to her in an honest way if we have problems in the classroom for example how to handle discipline… we will talk and share some ideas and therefore I do not feel alone as I know I will always have an open door...”

"My mentor teacher sometimes turned to me for support; she gave to the opportunity to come up with a plan or leave me in charge with certain aspect of her class. This obviously surprised me, but also gave me the courage to share my ideas and goals"

Be a councillor:

“…my mentor teacher will teach me with respect and I can just be myself when I talk to her even if it is about sensitive personal problems. Her understanding is indeed an anchor in my life”

Provide a nurturing invitational and warm teaching and learning climate:

“…this relationship between us is open, honest and warm”

Build a sound relationship of trust and understanding:

“Although Mrs… is firm and sets boundaries her friendly and warm voice let me feel as if she is a person that will help me to achieve my goals specifically being a good teacher and helping the learners with their work”
From the mouth of a millennium student teacher
"My mentor teacher created a positive, professional and nurturing learning environment so that I as a student
teacher can get the
courage to start my
journey as a
"And I realised that THIS journey is promising!"
We use different ways to acquire information, we are accustomed to be
visually stimulated
, and we are happy to live in this
technologically era
, BUT this doesn't change the fact that our
emotional needs still needs to be fulfilled
- and this is where the mentor teacher needs to step in.
Overwhelming TP numbers
The dynamics between role players in the
teaching practice.
How can academics as
educators of teachers
in an Open Distance Learning context over bridge the distance between the academic (trainer) and the teaching practice student, by using the emotional intelligence approach.
How can a more sensitised and emotional intelligence awareness be created at CEDU with specific reference to the Teaching Practice context.
Give a better explanation of the model. Make sure all the stakeholders “buy-into” the CEDU Teaching Practice Model.
Our tuition role: The conference is about the changing role: tuition and training; changing role as educators prepare the next generation to be good educators of teachers.
Our approach: EI Mentor Teachers: Our whole approach should be one of caring
'there's more'
Should you wish to
to this newspaper, feel free to contact the following people.
Full transcript