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Richardson (1990) suggests that this activity can be associated with conceptions such as; conveying respect for

children, being concerned about higher order


cognitive processes, recognizing the importance of classroom conversation or being associated with issues of power and control among teachers and students.

Carey (1986) bridges conceptions and distinguishes between a ‘strong’ knowledge restructuring, that involves changes in the concepts themselves, and ‘weak’
changes that involve only rearrangement of relations among existing concepts.

The term conception, initially introduced by Thompson (1992), refers to “general mental structure, encompassing beliefs, meanings, concepts, propositions,
rules, mental images, preferences, and the like”. In other words, conceptions integrate in unitary construct knowledge and beliefs, beliefs representing a
subcategory of the conceptions. In the context of national assessment conceptions describe “teachers overall perception and awareness of assessment (Barnes,
Fives & Dacey, 2015).

For Shulman (1987) (p. 19), reflection is "what a teacher does when he or she looks back at the teaching that has occurred, and reconstructs, reenacts,

and/recaptures the events, emotions, and the accomplishments. It is that set of processes through which a profession learns from experiences (op cit. p. 76)

The basic idea is that mentors, as well as student teachers at the final stage of their training, have acquired conceptions based on both knowledge about and
experience of mentoring.

The main aim of the empirical study is to discover and describe the meaning of mentors' and student teachers' conceptions of mentoring given in teaching
practice within teacher training. The ultimate aim of describing the conceptions of mentors and student teachers is to provide a basis for understanding the
different ways in which they think about mentoring, its character and purpose. Such a description may also contribute to enhancing the understanding of
teachers' professional knowledge.

Martin and Balla (1991) described three general categories of conceptions of teaching in a continuum from teacher content delivery to student activity and
experience as follows: (1) presenting information, (2) encouraging active learning, and (3) learning facilitation.
Dall’Alba (1991) interviewed 20 university teachers across four disciplines to determine their conceptions of teaching. She described seven different conceptions:
(1) presenting information, (2) transmitting information from teacher to student, (3) illustrating the application of theory to practice, (4) developing concepts
and principles through interaction with students, (5) developing the capacity in students to be experts, (6) exploring [with students] ways of understanding from
particular perspectives, and (7) bringing about conceptual change in students.

Kember (1998) identified links between conceptions of teaching, teaching strategies


and students’ approaches to learning and concluded that a number of investigations
have suggested a relationship from teaching conceptions, through approaches
to teaching to student learning outcomes (Kember, 1997, p. 270).

Conceptions are thus relational to student


teachers’ intentions and teaching strategies, and are generally
consistent with their teaching practices (Donche, 2005; Kember &
Kwan, 2000; Prosser & Trigwell, 1997).

Research on conceptions of learning and teaching shows that they are mostly described in terms of a continuum ranging from conceptions that focus on
knowledge transmission by the teacher to conceptions that focus on facilitating learning by the student (Kember, 1997).