Universiteit Leiden

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PhD project

Making mentoring match: Mentor teachers' practical knowledge about adaptive mentoring and individual differences between student teachers.

What practical knowledge do mentor teachers have of adaptive mentoring and of individual differences between student teachers?

2007 - 2018
Nico Verloop


Project description

Adaptive mentoring requires professional knowledge

Mentor teachers are expected to adapt their mentoring to a wide array of individual differences in student teacher learning. Mentors therefore need to have knowledge of individual differences and of ways to adapt mentoring to match these differences. Insight into mentor teachers' current knowledge can inform training and selection of mentor teachers.

Professional knowledge is embedded in personal conceptions

The research evidence on mentor teachers knowledge of adaptive mentoring is scarce. Practical knowledge studies show that their professional knowledge is embedded in and related to personal educational conceptions and motivations.

Four topics

  1. What is the relationship between mentor teachers’ mentoring motives and their mentoring conceptions?
  2. What adaptive mentoring activities do mentor teachers articulate in talking about their mentoring practice?
  3. What constructs do mentor teachers use to describe similarities and differences between student teachers?
  4. What adaptive mentoring activities do mentor teachers articulate in relation to individual differences between their student teachers?

A small-scale study

The study is small-scale, and uses interviews and repertory grid techniques. The study uses purposive sampling to select mentor teachers with different mentoring conceptions, through a survey with questionnaire.


Findings will provide input for mentor training and for professional development activities in collaborative professional communities across partnership organizations to support novice teacher learning.

(2003) Workshop on beliefs and behavior of teachers, held at the preconference of the 11th Biennial Conference of the International Study Association on Teachers and Teaching (ISATT), Leiden, the Netherlands.

van Ginkel, G. (2005, juni). Concepties van begeleiden en leren lesgeven in secundair onderwijs in Nederland. Paper gepresenteerd in symposium ‘Over de conceptualisering en het meten van cognities van docenten in het voortgezet onderwijs.’ Onderwijs Research Dagen (ORD), 30 mei - 1 juni 2005, Gent, Belgie.

Van Ginkel, G., Vermunt, J., Verloop, N. & Beijaard, D. (2005, august). Conceptions of mentoring and learning to teach in Dutch secondary student teaching. Paper presented at the 11th Biennial Conference of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI), August 23-27, Nicosia, Cyprus.

Van Ginkel, G. (2006, februari). Exploring cooperating teachers’ perspectives on mentoring and learning to teach. Paper presented at the ICO Teaching and Teacher Education SIG. Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Van Ginkel (2007, april). Presentatie in symposium 'Het individuele leergesprek'. Anéla-studiedag, Utrecht, Nederland.

Van Ginkel, G., Verloop, N., & Denessen, E. (accepted). Why Mentor? Linking mentor teachers' motivations to their mentoring conceptions. Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice.

Van Ginkel, G., Oolbekkink, H., Meijer, P.C., Verloop, N. (accepted). Adapting mentoring to individual differences in novice teacher learning; the mentor's viewpoint. Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice.

Van Ginkel, G., van Driel, J., Verloop, N. (submitted). Article submitted for publication.

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