Hobson, A.J., Long, J. and Searby, L. (2015), "Editorial", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 4 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-10-2015-0033Download as .RIS
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Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Volume 4, Issue 4.
This issue of the International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education (IJMCE) includes four excellent papers written by authors from New Zealand, Australia, the USA, and the UK, respectively.
In the first paper, "Educative mentoring: a way forward", Frances Langdon reports findings from a study of a New Zealand pilot programme aimed at shifting mentoring practices to an educative model. Through a two year professional development intervention, 22 participant mentors inquired into, analysed and documented their practice. Data were generated through learning conversations, action research documentation and reflections, and were analysed using qualitative methodology. Findings reveal that a shift in mentoring practice from a focus on the transmission of knowledge-for-practice to inquiry into knowledge-of-practice came about following mentors’ sustained engagement with evidence about mentoring practices, though the shift did not come easy, nor was it assured. The findings of the study contributed to the development of a mentoring curriculum and national guidelines for mentoring new teachers in New Zealand, and will be of interest to a wider international readership.
The second paper, "Mentoring pathways to enhancing the personal and professional development of pre-service teachers" by Christine Grima-Farrell, examines critical features and outcomes of an Australian collaborative university and school-based immersion project for mentoring final year pre-service primary teachers in the area of special education. Using a three-year qualitative study design, the research suggests that maintaining the balance of theory and practice through genuine extended school engagement experiences provides opportunities for collaborative connections on multiple levels across the school. This mentoring pathway enhanced and reinforced pre-service teachers’ professional capacity, confidence, and employability potential. Mentors proved critical to reducing pre-service teachers’ anxieties and to enhancing their personal and professional knowledge, confidence, and skills as they differentiated instruction and assessment techniques to cater for students with a diverse range of abilities.
In our third paper, "The Gradual Increase of Responsibility Model for coaching teachers: scaffolds for change", Vicki Collet reports findings of a study which employed case study methodology to investigate the ways in which coaching supports teacher change. The paper illustrates how teacher coaching questions change over time as a mentee’s expertise and experience grows, and identifies five "coaching moves" that can be utilised to scaffold new teacher learning, namely modelling, recommending, asking questions, affirming, and praising. The coaching moves are not linear, but are described as iterative progression points on a curving line. As a teacher’s competencies emerge, the coach provides varying, but decreasing support. Those who work as teacher coaches will find helpful examples of the kinds of questions, probes, and affirmations that accompany the phases in the Gradual Increase of Responsibility Model.
The fourth of our papers, by Marion Jones, represents something of a new departure for IJMCE and for peer reviewed journals in education more generally. There has, in recent years, been an increased emphasis, internationally, on the potential and actual impact of our research endeavours. For example, potential for research impact is one of the evaluation criteria employed by many research funders, and impact has become an established and increasingly important feature of some research assessment exercises, perhaps most notably the "Research Excellence Framework" (REF) operated by the UK Higher Education Funding Councils. Given these developments, which have not been universally acclaimed, we recently decided that the International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education would introduce a new category of article, alongside the others (notably research paper, practitioner paper, review paper), to encourage discussion and debate about research impact. We have termed this new category "Research Impact in Focus". Marion Jones’ paper – entitled "Mentoring and coaching in education practitioners’ professional learning: realising research impact" – is the first of its kind.
In her paper, Jones critically reflects on her and her colleagues’ experience of developing an impact case study submitted to the UK 2014 REF. The paper focuses on three key aspects: identifying a suitable impact case study; meeting the REF criteria for high-quality research; and evidencing impact. It highlights the importance of a collective, cross-professional approach and draws attention to the nexus that needs to be established between user and research communities, or academics and professional practitioners, in order to generate evidence of research impact in the field. Through her study, Jones highlights the benefits that research in mentoring and coaching can have for both policy and practice, specifically in terms of education professionals’ workplace learning and continuing professional development in local and international contexts. It is gratifying to see documented evidence that research and development work in mentoring and coaching in education can make a significant different to individuals’ learning and well-being.
We trust that you will find – or have found – this collection of articles interesting and informative, and we would like to thank both the authors for submitting their papers for review, and our excellent reviewers for helping those authors improve the clarity and quality of their papers, and helping us as editors to uphold the high standards of our journal.
As we look forward to the fifth volume of IJMCE in 2016, we should note that, with the exception of extended editorials for special issues, we plan henceforth to provide a single editorial per volume, which will reflect on the content of the entire volume’s constituent issues and articles, at the end of each year. We would like to announce too that in Volume 5 we plan to publish a special issue, guest edited by Dr Denise Armstrong and Dr Linda Searby, which focuses on the potential benefits, challenges, and implications of mentoring and coaching individuals who are "second in command" (assistant principals, vice principals, and deputy head teachers) in elementary or secondary school settings across the globe. If you are potentially interested in submitting a manuscript for consideration for inclusion in this special issue, please contact Denise and Linda at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and mailto:email@example.com
Finally, we wish to announce that one of our number – Dr Jan Long – will be standing down as co-editor of IJMCE at the end of this year. On behalf of everyone associated with IJMCE, the editor-in-chief and publisher would like to thank Jan for her invaluable contribution to the development of our journal over the last two to three years. While we will miss her as a co-editor, we are delighted that Jan will be remaining as a member of our Editorial Advisory Board.
Andrew J. Hobson, Janette Long and Linda Searby