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Mentoring of newly qualified teachers in early childhood education and care centres: Individual or organizational orientation?

Wiebke Klages (Department of Early Childhood Education, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway)
Magritt Lundestad (Department of Early Childhood Education, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway)
Paul Robert Sundar (Department of Primary and Secondary Teacher Education, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway)

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education

ISSN: 2046-6854

Article publication date: 6 February 2020

Issue publication date: 19 February 2020

748

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss contrasting perceptions regarding “leadership and mentoring” among leaders of Norwegian early childhood education and care (ECEC) centres in their mentoring practices with newly qualified early childhood teachers (NQTs).

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with eight leaders in Norwegian ECEC centres.

Findings

Leaders in dual roles as leaders and mentors have varying orientations in mentoring NQTs. The paper presents the findings as two main orientations: an individual and an organizational orientation. Individually oriented leaders as mentors focus on individual needs and support of the NQT. Organizationally oriented leaders as mentors emphasize collective reflection and learning in the staff group and include NQTs in various learning processes in the ECEC centre.

Research limitations/implications

The study is a qualitative research inquiry in a specific context and may not be representative for larger groups. Further studies could include larger samples of leaders and NQTs. Such studies could focus on the balance between NQTs’ individual needs and organizational needs, and how NQTs are included in the organization’s collective reflection and action.

Practical implications

The study provides insights into how leaders as mentors in their dual roles try to meet both the needs of the individual NQT and the needs of the organization. It also identifies and highlights some of the challenges that leaders must cope with in their dual roles. The paper benefits those working in such dual roles and in the education of mentors and leaders.

Originality/value

The study contributes to increased knowledge on how leaders’ views on leadership and organization influence their mentoring with NQTs. The study is relevant for leaders in other educational settings such as schools. In ECEC centres, the leader is responsible for mentoring NQTs and other staff members. This study shows different ways of conceptualizing mentoring with NQTs in the role as leader.

Keywords

Citation

Klages, W., Lundestad, M. and Sundar, P.R. (2020), "Mentoring of newly qualified teachers in early childhood education and care centres: Individual or organizational orientation?", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 103-118. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-02-2019-0040

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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