Citation Mackie L (2020) Understandings of mentoring in school placement settings within the context of Initial Teacher Education in Scotland: dimensions of collaboration and power. Journal of Education for Teaching, 46 (1).
Abstract This study critically addresses mentor and mentee understandings of mentoring primary education student teachers within existing operations of power in the context of Scottish Initial Teacher Education. Semi-structured interviews of mentors and student teachers were used to elicit relational understandings of the mentoring process within an instrumental, collective case study research design. Findings indicate that participants understood mentoring as a multifaceted process aimed at supporting the professional learning of student teachers. The article addresses the main mentoring relationship between class teacher mentor and student teacher mentee. Analysis of their responses suggests an understanding of mentoring as involving both personal and professional dimensions. From these dimensions emerge the focus of this article: implicit collaboration and conceptions of power as a relational duality situated within a more Foucauldian 'flux' form. Critical discussion of findings extends understandings of the complexity of the mentoring process with reference to perceptions of collaboration, power and their co-existence. Conclusions focus on the need for a quality, consistent mentoring education programme to promote an informed knowledge and understanding of the complex nature of mentoring in order to improve the quality and consistency of mentee learning experiences.