An investigation into the cooperative and collaborative partnerships in Hungarian teacher education

  • Katalin Balassa

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The aim of this dissertation is to provide insight into some characteristics of collaborative partnerships in Hungarian teacher education, and to use this as evidence in pointing out the need for a change in current teacher education practices in the preparation of teachers/mentors.

    The Portfolio brings together accounts of two research projects upon perspectives of collaborative partnerships. Project 'A', Collaborative development of observation strategies in the context of mentor-based teacher education programmes in Hungary investigates the results of a collaborative partnership which originally developed from a successful initiative in ELT. Later, however, the findings proved capable of wider application, producing results at school improvement. Data were gathered mainly from participating mentors' research reports. With the help of qualitative research and analysis the potential benefits of this joint project are highlighted. From the analysis of data particular features of mixed mentor-based programmes emerge which have not been documented in the literature before.

    Project 'B', Impact Study of a Nation-wide Hungarian Mentor Project in ELT attempts to investigate how the reflective approach to teacher training (See Part I for definition) introduced at the beginning of the nineties changed mentoring in Hungary. Data were gathered from questionnaires. With the help of a survey method it is demonstrated how the Mentor Project affected all the people and institutions involved in the project. The research provides insights not only into the future of mentoring in Hungary, but into the wider implications for mentoring as a whole.

    Special attention is paid to evaluating the collaboration between participants of the project. The evidence from the data is used for pinpointing areas which require further improvement in the preparation of mentors. The research results of both projects show that work in collaborative partnerships encourages teachers to adopt a self-critical approach to their practice. Also, they clearly
    point to the need for collaborating with participants of mentor training at all levels. Both projects derived from empirical investigation and they were prompted by the Candidate's continued interest in mentoring and her long experience of working as a mentor/mentor co-ordinator in Hungarian teacher education. They are based on Hungarian experience but throughout all the study parallels are drawn with the international context. Special attention is paid to exploring the origins of Hungarian school-based partnership, as it is believed this is intrinsic to the understanding of the current controversies of university practice-school partnership. It is the Candidate 's conviction that besides preserving some universally valid elements of teacher education models, it is necessary to find ways which are in agreement with and catering for particular local needs.

    While there is a clear difference in the context and the processes which were necessary to setup the two projects, both of them explored ways for improvement. They were meant to encourage participants of partnerships to establish a basic agreed philosophy, which would create a common ground for working with mentees. Specifically, ways, which on the one hand remain faithful to the past model of the first school-based teacher training institution, and, at the same time, meet the challenges of the future.
    Date of Award2002
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDanny Saunders (Supervisor)


    • Teacher Training
    • Hungary
    • Collaborative Partnerships
    • Hungarian school-based partnership
    • Teacher Education
    • mentoring

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