This paper describes the findings of a one-year collaborative research project funded by the Standing Conference on Teacher Education North and South (SCoTENS). The paper is derived from a Short Report on this study prepared for SCoTENS on 16th May 2012. The study examined the role of physical education(PE) teachers as mentors to new members of the PE teaching profession. Research participants comprised 6 university tutors and 10 PE mentor teachers across three national research sites (Republic of Ireland, England and Northern Ireland). A range of qualitative data collection methods were employed, and thedata were analysed thematically using a constructivist version of grounded theory.The paper reports two key findings:(1) Mentor teachers had a shared perception of the need to be selectedon the basis of suitability; i.e. disposition and expertise and theneed to be trained to mentor pre-service teachers effectively.(2) Mentor teachers perceived that they should provide a safelearning space for the pre-service PE teacher where he/she is freeto take risks and explore praxis (theory-informed practice) in avariety of contexts.
- teacher professional learning