Mentoring Urban Interns: Amalgamation of Experiences in the Formation of Mathematics Teachers

Jan. 10, 2010

Source: The Teacher Educator, Volume 45, Issue 1 (January 2010), pages 37 – 53.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study examined interns’ perceptions of their mathematics mentoring support provided to first-year teacher interns and factors that influenced their ability to teach mathematics.

Research Questions

The research questions were
(a) How did various roles of mentors help develop urban interns' ability to teach mathematics? and (b) What specific teaching skills, factors, and pedagogical behaviors helped or hindered urban interns' ability to teach mathematics?


Eleven K-8 mathematics interns were completing their first year-long teaching experience in four low socioeconomic, highly diverse, urban school districts situated in south-central Texas.
All interns were White and female with the exception of one, Hispanic male.


Semi-structured interviews revealed that district and grade-level campus mentors provided the greatest amount of mathematics instruction and pedagogically based support to interns.

Three factors most instrumental in developing the ability to teach mathematics were
(a) manipulative use, (b) planning of classroom instruction and activities, and (c) execution of the lesson.

Four factors hindering interns' abilities to teach mathematics included (a) mathematics-specific skills; (b) instructional-based strategies, but not necessarily math-specific; (c) mentoring-support assistance; and (d) general or non-content specific hindrances.

Updated: Feb. 21, 2010