Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services


Teacher Education and Teacher Development

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Kathryn Herr

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Ana Maria Villegas

Committee Member

Jeremy Price


This dissertation builds on a theory of situated social practice, which holds that social practices, such as mentoring, can be transformed in and through relationships among people who are engaged in activities in the socially and politically structured world (Arnseth, 2008; Kemmis & Smith, 2008; Freire, 1970). A participatory action research study grounds this work and adds to a nascent line of empirical research on mentoring in urban teaching residency programs (UTRs) by asking how inquiry supported mentors and teacher educators in recognizing, negotiating, and naming a mentor practice for their hybrid, practice-based, district- and university-sponsored, teacher preparation program.

I drew on situated learning theory (Lave & Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998, 2010), to assert that mentoring in this study was a “boundary practice” that bridged teaching and teacher education practices in the UTR. Further, I showed that the boundary where mentors and teacher educators met was actively developed as a relational space where participants could resist pressure to conform with standardized, instrumental, performative, and complacent mentoring practices for the sake of improving the life chances of students in urban schools. Finally, I conclude that engagement in collaborative inquiry offered opportunities for mentors and teacher educators to negotiate the meaning and purpose of mentoring, jointly interpret and address problems of practice-based teacher learning, appropriate teacher evaluation protocols for preparing residents, and overcome discontinuities between their separate practices.