Tapping into the teaching experiences of final year education students to increase support for students in their first year
This study investigates the mentorship of pairing first year and final year teacher education students during their school placements or practicum. Participating students were studied using an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) approach and undertaking Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) to interpret their experience and their stress levels in the peer mentorship program. This peer mentoring program offered benefits for the first year education students by reducing their stress levels significantly and providing reassurance about their performance during school practicum. It also prepared the final year students for taking on teacher mentor roles. While the student mentorship program cannot replace the support provided by schools and universities, it does offer first year students reassurance as to their practical teaching abilities and performance. In addition, this study provides several perspectives on student mentorship during teaching practicum that are worthy of further research.