Research mentoring teachers in intercultural education contexts; self‐study

Sarah Fletcher (Bath, UK)

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education

ISSN: 2046-6854

Publication date: 25 March 2012



The purpose of this paper is to explore the theory and practice of Generative Research mentoring. The author has been involved in research mentoring teachers in schools since 2002 and in the course of her work her concepts about integrating mentoring and action research have changed. She explains how and why she has moved to adopt an Appreciative Inquiry approach integrated with a model of mentoring that she developed in the course of her own practice in schools.


This is a self study of teacher education practice where the author analyses her own theories and practices of research mentoring for teachers in schools in England and in Japan, over a ten year period. She investigates how the nature of self‐study is impacted upon by culture in diverse intercultural contexts.


This article reflects work in process. The findings to date suggest that teacher research and thus (potentially) research mentoring for teachers: is not informed by consensus on what teachers should learn as research skills; might usefully be focused upon action research enabled by teachers’ self study; works differently as self study according to Eastern/Western concepts of self; is likely to become more universally acceptable as self study through use of web‐based templates where self studies are shared e.g. at; and should challenge mentoring/coaching techniques from other contexts such as business, nor assuming techniques successful in one context are so in another. Practitioner researchers in educational settings are likely to benefit from outsiders’ support, be that from colleagues based in universities or from teacher researchers working in other schools. That situation, in my experience, could come about where generative research mentoring has been successful and research mentees emerge to become research mentors for others within the profession of teaching. Importantly, individuals’ self study research should not rely upon unsupported opinions or upon validation by a peer group with self‐interest in seeing one of the community's study, accepted for university accreditation such as a Masters Level Award or a doctorate.


While the practice of research mentoring for teacher researchers has been in process in schools in England for ten years, the concept of Generative Research Mentoring, whereby the mentee prepares to become a mentor for other teacher researchers, is unique to the author's work. The value of generative research mentoring, not just for schoolteachers but also for academic contexts such as universities internationally, is that it can build capacity for research to be undertaken among those whose research skills are previously under‐developed.



Fletcher, S. (2012), "Research mentoring teachers in intercultural education contexts; self‐study", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 66-79.

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