Primary school teacher trainees’ perceptions of the quality of support provided during mentoring
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This study examined the Ugandan primary teacher trainees’ perceptions of the quality of support provided to them during their school practice/mentoring. Questionnaires were administered to 155 participants who had just completed their first school practice and randomly drawn from two Primary Teachers’ Colleges in the Central Region of Uganda. Questionnaires and interview transcripts were coded until a saturation point of 55 was reached, when no new themes and trends emerged. The 55 questionnaires were then considered for content analysis. Teacher trainees’ lesson plans and schemes of work were analyzed to assess the quality of support provided. Teaching timetables, class registers, records of work covered, learners’ progress records and mentors’ reports about the student teachers were also analyzed. Results showed that teacher trainees rated highly the quality of the support received from their mentors. They valued the support they received as relevant, important and helpful. It enables them acquire knowledge, attitudes, pedagogical skills and self-confidence. Nevertheless, some of them reported dissatisfaction with the quality of support provided, particularly mentors’ reluctance to entrust them with some critical aspects of teaching, mainly assessment. They also cited mentors’ unavailability to support them.