How do student teachers elicit their mentor teachers' practical knowledge?

Anneke Zanting, Nico Verloop, Jan D. Vermunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The present study focuses on how student-teachers attempt to elicit the practical knowledge of the mentor teachers who supervise their practical training. Having access to the practical knowledge of their mentors means, among other things, that student-teachers have access to the cognitions underlying teaching that can help them to understand their mentors' teaching style, advice, and feedback. The analysis of 29 interviews with student-teachers revealed three self-initiated activities for this access: (1) observing a mentor's lesson; (2) asking specific questions about lessons observed; and (3) discussing the student's lesson or teaching and education in general. Not all the activities mentioned by the student-teachers elicited what is called 'practical knowledge' in the literature. As practical knowledge is an important element of the learning-to-teach process, it was concluded that the stimulation of activities aimed at exploring this knowledge could make a valuable contribution to teacher education. The instruments used in the research on teacher knowledge and beliefs could be helpful for attaining this objective. Implications of this research for teacher education and suggestions for further research are presented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-211
Number of pages15
JournalTeachers and Teaching
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes


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