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The good teacher for the twenty-first century: a “mentoring teacher” with heutagogical skills

Irit Levy-Feldman (Kibbutzim College of Education Technology and the Arts, Tel-Aviv, Israel)

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education

ISSN: 2046-6854

Article publication date: 4 May 2018

Issue publication date: 23 May 2018



The purpose of this paper is to propose a new conception of the “good teacher” – that of the teacher-as-mentor, or, as the author refer to it, the “mentoring teacher,” who is equipped with heutagogical skills aimed at promoting self-determined learning through dialogic teaching. This conception appears to be better suited than current conceptions for the twenty-first century and the postmodern era.


The conception is based on an interpretative textual analysis of western educational philosophies and of the nature of postmodernity.


The mentoring teacher, presented to be the “good teacher” for the new era, is provided with skills associated with heutagogy: a pedagogical approach that emphasizes the individual’s need to learn autonomously and independently and that regards the capacity to do so as a basic skill for living and lifelong learning in the changing world. Using dialogic teaching, mentoring teachers equipped with heutagogical skills can navigate their teaching to promote the self-learning abilities of different learners and better prepare them to navigate the challenges of the current era.

Research limitations/implications

This paper presents one perspective on looking at the changes that have occurred in the conception of the good teacher in western society and offers one point of view of the image of the new good teacher, hoping it might stimulate new thinking on the need to reconsider the role of the teacher in contemporary western society.


Placing the focus on teachers’ skills as opposed to students’ needs, which is much more common, invites discussion regarding the image of the good teacher and teacher education.



Levy-Feldman, I. (2018), "The good teacher for the twenty-first century: a “mentoring teacher” with heutagogical skills", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 177-190.



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