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International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology

Yıl 2013 , Cilt 1 , Sayı 1

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Hybrid-mentoring programs for beginning elementary science teachers

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Iowa State University1
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This study examines four induction models and teacher changes in science teaching practices, as a result of several mentoring programs. It explores three different computer-mediated mentoring programs, and a traditional offline induction program—in terms of interactivity, inquiry-based teaching, and topics of knowledge. Fifteen elementary science teachers—eleven new teachers and four experienced science teachers —were assigned to and participated in, one of the four induction programs for five months: a Virtual Reality (VRG), a Wiki (WKG), a hand-held digital device (HDG), and a general group (GG). Data was collected by archiving written dialogues, snapshots and field notes of avatar interactions, monthly open-ended questionnaires, weekly journal reflections, science lesson plans, mentor/teacher field notes, student artifacts, and video-recording science teaching in classrooms. Using a case study through a time-order display strategy and utilizing situated learning framework, the findings indicate that the beginning teachers in each induction program had their own unique way of professionally interacting with their mentors. Except for the teachers in the GG, the new teachers were able to establish their own platforms for inquiry-based, student-centered teaching, improving not only their pedagogical content knowledge but also their confidence in teaching science. This study further discusses the importance of meaningful social engagements between mentors and mentees, as well as how these social engagements benefit new teachers becoming inquiry-based teachers and developing healthy communities of practice.

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