n South African Journal of Higher Education - Teacher development through distance education : mentor perceptions of mentoring

Volume 23, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



The article explores perceptions of mentors of Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) students, regarding mentor / mentee relationships, mentor roles and effectiveness, mentor commitment and training, mentoring benefits, incentives and challenges. The study covered two regions of the Zimbabwe Open University (ZOU) as a follow up to an earlier study which explored students' perceptions. Qualitative questionnaires gathered data from a purposive sample of 39. Although the study is limited due to the absence of a multi-method approach to data gathering, mentor perceptions broadly concur with those of mentees in the earlier study and literature, but with strong emphasis on the need for mentor training, adequate time for mentoring, provision of incentives and the quality issue of grading versus a caring mentoring relationship. From critically analyzing mentor perceptions, researchers concluded that albeit mentors were painting a positive picture of mentoring and their commitment to it, mentoring in the ZOU model was affected by lack of mentor training, incentives and limited time for mentoring. In such circumstances, the institution should embark on on-going mentor training, give mentors incentives, rethink the role of school-based mentors and reconsider assessment in a 'parent / child' relationship.

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