From the industry to the classroom : exploring mentoring needs of novice lecturers in a TVET College.
Shandu, Sibongile Cynthia Ohamu.
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The aim of this study was to explore the mentoring needs of novice lecturers within a TVET College. It sought to find out from novice lecturers how management responds to their needs and how the mentoring of novice lecturers in a TVET College could be enhanced or improved. Drawing from the Experiential Learning Theory (1984) framework and the Anxiety Adult Learning Theory (2004), a theoretical framework for this study was developed. Using a qualitative approach and a case study methodology, this research was conducted within the confines of the interpretive paradigm. Data was generated using semi-structured interviews. Four novice lecturers and four management staff members from three campuses in one of the TVET Colleges in the Uthungulu district of the KwaZulu-Natal province participated in this study. The findings revealed that a lack of pedagogic skills and classroom management were the basic needs of these novice lecturers. Novice lecturers are academically qualified but often not professionally qualified. Therefore, developments need to be ensured concerning their professional qualifications. It was also revealed that formal mentoring is required. The study concluded that there should be structured programmes that could be conducted internally and externally. Lastly, the study revealed that senior lecturers need not to be given mentoring as part of their work load, but should rather be selected due to willingness. Recommendations based on the findings were made, namely, to train novice lectures in classroom management skills and pedagogical skills prior to assuming their duties. A detailed induction needs to be conducted by a person who has classroom experience. It was further recommended that TVET colleges need to collaborate with nearby universities to offer certain courses to novice lecturers in order to develop them professionally. Mentors need to be selected according to different departments and according to their willingness, good track record in terms of results, and level of training.