Teacher education in many countries is under reform with growing differences in its form and function. This is indicative of the ongoing negotiations around the place of theory, research and practice in teachers’ professional learning. However, the demand for mentoring of trainee teachers during often extended and multiple school-based placements is a relative constant. Indeed, with the trend towards greater school-based professional experience mentoring practices become ever more critical. The paper aims to discuss this issue.
This is a conceptual paper written from the perspective of an experienced teacher educator in England, drawing on both practical experience and a body of associated research. It can be conceptualised as related to cases of practice, linked to episodes of practitioner research grounded in the ethics of the improvability of practice, the desire to meet the needs of the professional communities and a deep understanding of the demands and cultures of their workplaces.
Mentoring can be re-imagined as a dynamic hub within a practice development-led model for individual professional learning and institutional growth. Acting on this conceptualisation would allow mentors, trainees and other supporting teacher educators to contribute to the transformation of professional learning practices and educational contexts.
This paper goes beyond offering merely helpful guidance to participants and stakeholders in mentoring, or stipulating standards to be achieved, to considering what might be described as a hopeful or transformational stance in relation to mentoring. Teacher educators can continue to bring value to the transformation of teacher education through a focus on mentoring as an educative process.
Lofthouse, R.M. (2018), "Re-imagining mentoring as a dynamic hub in the transformation of initial teacher education: The role of mentors and teacher educators", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 248-260. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-04-2017-0033Download as .RIS
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