SA Journal of Education, Vol 42, No 1 (2022)

Mentoring novice natural science teachers: a case study in the Gauteng province

Rabella Esther Mhlaba, Mmushetji Petrus Rankhumise


The study reported on here was undertaken to understand the impact of mentoring novice science teachers. The study was conducted within the Gauteng province, because there have been many debates and concerns on the necessity to devise ways of improving the understanding of science in schools in the province. The purpose of this study was to understand the effects and impact of mentoring novice natural science teachers within the Gauteng province. We used the qualitative research approach and this was motivated by the need to understand the perceptions and experiences of the research participants. Purposive sampling was used as sampling method to select novice science teachers and relevant teachers to be part of the sample. Through the use of semi-structured interviews as data collection method, it was discovered that mentoring of novice teachers refers to the method of empowering new teachers to be effective in their work-related tasks to become true professionals in the academic profession. We concluded that several mentoring initiatives and mechanisms were used to assist novice teachers. Among these programmes, training, skills development and technical support to enhance communication skills and manage the curriculum were underscored. We concluded that the mentoring of novice teachers was important within Gauteng, as it raised awareness and lead to expert science teachers being equipped with a wide range of skills to achieve the best results in the classroom. Mentoring also capacitates novice teachers on how to handle laboratory equipment and chemicals to benefit learners. We also gathered that mentoring had a direct impact on novice science teachers. It lead to the creation of an effective and excellent teaching environment, resulted in higher levels of teacher retention and improved teachers’ service delivery. It also strengthened the emotional and psychological well-being of teachers. We thus recommend training, development, and the allocation of finances towards enhancing the mentoring of novice science teachers.

ORCiD iDs of authors:
Rabella Esther Mhlaba –
Mmushetji Petrus Rankhumise -

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