In line with international debate, there is a discussion in Norway on developing teacher education by moving from a more experience-based to a research-based approach. This ongoing change presents a challenge, not only for the development of teacher education but also for teachers working as mentors in school placements. The aim of this study was to investigate science mentors’ views on research-based teacher education and the contribution of school placement therein. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 11 mentors working as science teachers in Norwegian primary and secondary schools. Data analysis was based on a thematic analytical approach. The results demonstrate that mentors display a mixed and limited understanding of research-based teacher education, and that developing an understanding of what it means in both contexts (on campus and in school placements) needs to be addressed. Mentors view school placement as an arena in which student teachers can freely test different teaching methodologies. Currently, school placement appears to be experienced as somewhat separate from teaching on campus. However, we conclude that school placement founded in a common knowledge base within research-based teacher education can function as a bridge between theory and practice.
- Initial teacher education
- science education
- research-informed teaching
- Research-based teacher education