Fletcher, S. (2012), "Editorial", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 1 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijmce.2012.57401baa.001Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Volume 1, Issue 2.
In my Editorial for our second issue of The International Journal for Mentoring and Coaching in Education, I want to focus on four words that comprise our title and encapsulate the passionate commitment of the teamwork that sustains us. When you look at our journal's web site do take a moment to reflect on the many reviewers whose names do not appear. Our Review Board now has well over 250 members who offer their time and services free to support us all. One of the most exciting aspects of my role as Editor as I brought this second issue together was to be “talking” by e-mail with reviewers in the Far East and in the USA about a submission from an author in India. This, in our view, underpins and evidences our claim to “International”. A moment spent identifying the countries of origin of IJMCE's Editorial Advisory Board, many of whom are reviewers and all of whom provide active, scholarly advice about the implementation of our journal's vision will again validate our claims to be “International”. While our publishing team so ably led by Valerie Robillard and Jamie Allen are based in the UK, we have a wide network of other Emerald colleagues helping us in different parts of the globe. What we want is to go beyond running a journal that focuses almost entirely on what occurs in the UK, in theorisation and practice. Our claim is to be the only international journal for mentoring and coaching in education and this second issue justifies that undertaking with its trans-global selection of manuscripts.
Many journals claim to relate to mentoring as well as coaching but their content often reveals a lack of discussion and a muddling confusion of the terms. This is partly because a hitherto lack of much sustained research of a quality notably in coaching in educational contexts. In this issue we learn not just about research in teacher education but also about business and medical education. Research into coaching (as distinct from mentoring) shows us how these terms have become intertwined, though their origins can be teased out to reveal their different roots. Some of the manuscripts that we review accept without question that definitions of mentoring and coaching in use in the UK are necessarily identical to those in the USA. Other neglect to engage critically with literature they cite in mentoring and coaching in business, medicine and sports education contexts. Of course, not every issue could give equal prominence to mentoring and coaching but over the year we aim to offer readers insights into cutting edge research in both activities. As Editor, I am keen to continue to develop my own education. When I trained as one of the first school-based mentors for initial teacher education in England, in the early 1990s, there was no mention of coaching expect as a skills/goal-based component of a far more holistic relational intervention. It was not until I worked with colleagues in the Sports Department at the University of Bath in the world leading undergraduate programme in Coach Education that my horizons broadened and from there I was further educated when I took over a programme for business coaches at the University of Bath in Swindon. Let us not undervalue the contribution to understandings about mentoring and coaching theories and practices from other contexts but let us ensure that in this journal we live up to claims to represent mentoring and coaching in specifically educational contexts. Why educational rather than just education? Our journal brings together papers about education and embodies a passionate commitment to be educational too. As you engage with published papers in IJMCE, we want to excite you to learn!
In this issue of IJMCE there are five papers and these fulfil our journal's stated coverage of international perspectives on mentoring and coaching in education. Our editorial objectives set out on our web site and include our commitment to cutting edge research, in process reports and theoretical accounts of mentoring and coaching in educational contexts. It never ceases to amaze me that I receive manuscripts that make no mention of either mentoring or coaching and I wonder at the intention of an author who thinks anything other than rejection will ensue. We are confident that as our journal flourishes there will be fewer such potential distractions that take up editorial time, which is better devoted to considerations of excellent manuscript submissions like the five that you can read in Issue 2:
“Teacher education lesson observation as boundary crossing”, authored by Rachel Lofthouse and David Wright.
“Mentoring to reproduce or change discourse in schools”, authored by Jeanne Lonnergan, Geraldine Mooney-Simmie and Joanne Moles.
“The different faces of principal mentorship”, authored by Oksana Parylo, Sally Zepeda and Ed Bengtson.
“A model for student mentoring in business schools”, authored by Manju P. George and Sebastian Rupert Mampilly.
“The mentoring of women for medical career development”, authored by Renate Petersen, Angelike Eggert, Ruth Gruemmer, Ulrike Schara and Wolfgang Sauerwein.
We expect all authors who submit manuscripts to IJMCE to follow the guidelines provided on our web site and we only accept papers which are accompanied by a structured abstract. Authors can expect to revise their manuscripts at least once during reviewing, which is double blinded to shield them from any potential bias. This means that authors new to publication stand the same chance of publication as experienced peers and we are particularly proud to have early career writers, as well as those with a far more expansive publishing record, featuring in IJMCE.
To provide you with a flavour of the varied contributions to this our second issue I am including extracts from the structured abstracts for each of our five papers;
Our first paper in Issue 2 is Rachel Lofthouse's and David Wright's England-based study entitled “Teacher education lesson observation as boundary crossing” and is summarised in their structured abstract in this way. “Observation and feedback in the classroom can be viewed as a ‘boundary’ practice. This tool can be regarded as a ‘boundary object’ which promotes the use of questions to support the ‘framing and reframing’ necessary for the professional learning and development of the beginning teachers. It was designed to align with the practitioner enquiry model of teacher learning underpinning the course, and it drew mentors into the mode of responding to their students’ questions. The research was undertaken as a Design Study. The design of the tool led to an iterative, collaborative, process focused approach to the development of the observation tool. Students and their mentors were encouraged to experiment with and report on their observation experience. Significant professional development and learning can be triggered by crossing both real and metaphorical boundaries and as such it is essential that the tools offered to students and their mentors are supportive of divergent learning outcomes, through which each student teacher has the opportunity to transform teaching practices, not simply replicate existing ones.”
Our second paper is co-authored by Jeanne Lonergen, Geraldine Mooney-Simmie and Joanne Moles and reports on research in practice in the Republic of Ireland: “Mentoring to reproduce or change discourse in schools”. Just like the previous paper, the emphasis is on the potential of mentoring as transformative learning. “This study is concerned with the readiness of the experienced teacher to mentor beginning teachers, and student teachers, in ways that value co-inquiry, care, agency and critical thinking within the ecology of a whole school environment (Mooney Simmie and Moles, 2011). Mentoring has become a popular construct in everyday usage. The originality of this research lies in the use of productive mentoring as a framework developed by the authors and under continual interrogation. This paper shares findings from a master's study exploring teacher professional learning needs with the purpose of elucidating the needs of teachers, and mentor teachers, within the school cultural context in the Republic of Ireland. This study coincides with a relentless neo-liberal drive to outsource most of what was traditionally seen as state investment across all public services, including education (Ball, 2012). The research methodology is a small scale qualitative research study exploring the perceptions of experienced teachers in two secondary schools. It examines the conditions which may account for different levels of engagement in this regard. The key findings show very different levels of engagement in school based teacher professional learning in the two secondary schools. These findings have serious implications for the type of whole school mentoring that needs to be offered within schools at a time when policymakers are mandating teacher professional learning and requiring the development of critical reasoning capacities for all pupils in a global knowledge world.”
Our third paper is authored by Oksana Parylo, who is based in the USA and her colleagues Sally Zepeda and Ed Bengtson. They too write about mentoring in schools and explore aspects of professional development for school leadership. Their publication is entitled “The different faces of principal mentorship” and their structured abstract describes their research in these terms. “This study positioned mentoring as an important path to principal effectiveness and contributed to the corpus of literature on educational mentoring by examining the perceptions and experiences of new and experienced principals about the mentoring they received and provided. The purpose of this qualitative interpretive study was to examine principal mentoring, a process that is significant in principal identification, socialization, development, and retention. The study was framed within the social constructivism paradigm and thematically examined individual perspectives to developing the thematic constructs relevant to the participants’ experiences of and perceptions about principal mentoring. Thematic analysis of the interview data from 16 principals from the state of Georgia, United States, revealed 5 major themes related to leaders’ experiences of and perceptions about principal mentoring: (a) mentoring as recruitment; (b) mentoring as socialization; (c) mentoring as support; (d) mentoring as professional development; and, (e) mentoring as reciprocal learning. The results of this inquiry suggest the need for formal and informal mentoring opportunities for new and experienced principals and call for further research on comparing mentoring practices between the large and small schools systems.”
In keeping with our commitment to use IJMCE as a platform for exploring diverse international education contexts our fourth paper, by Manju P. George and Sebastian Rupert Mampilly, describe their conceptualization and research enactment of “A model for student learning in business schools” (offering an MBA) in Kerala, a region in southern India.
This paper includes a conceptual framework employed for bringing about effectiveness of mentoring, proven to be valid and may be considered by business schools that are institutionalizing mentoring as an element of the pedagogy. This research combined features of descriptive and explanatory research designs. The respondents of the study comprised of 141 permanent teachers, 327 first year students and 318 final year students enrolled in the management programmes of 19 B-schools (institutions offering MBA programme) in Kerala that had minimum five years of existence and approval of the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE). The essence of management education lies in preparing and enabling the students to evolve cognitively, affectively and behaviourally into capable ones equipped to meet and manage challenges from within and outside their organisations or workplaces. Mentoring, as pedagogy, results in enhancing effectiveness of B-schools (institutions offering MBA programmes), in ensuring the transformation of students into professionals. The purpose of this study was to analyse and evaluate the formal and teacher-initiated student mentoring in B-schools in Kerala in terms of the designated activities, to establish effectiveness of mentoring as outcomes of faculty-related antecedents and mentoring activities, and to demonstrate the effectiveness in terms of the psycho-social changes of students. The study revealed that less than half of the management institutes had implemented mentoring programs as part of their pedagogy. A structural equation model validated the conceptual model and the findings revealed that socio-demographic characteristics, mentoring activities (teach the job, provide challenge, teach politics, career help, sponsor, career counselling and trust) influenced the effectiveness of the mentoring activities.
Our fifth published paper in Issue 2 moves away from mentoring in schools and focuses on the mentorship of doctoral students in institutions of higher education in Germany (IJMCE is truly international!) The paper by Renate Petersen, Angelike Eggert, Ruth Gruemmer, Ulrike Schara and Wolfgang Sauerwein focuses on the MediMent programme, which is designed to improve the representation of women in leading scientific positions on a medium-to-long-term basis. The authors pose several questions that challenge the education of scientists the world over. “In Germany, scientific qualifications and an academic career in medical disciplines require mastering and balancing clinical, research and teaching activities. Systematic interdisciplinary human resource development is rare in German medical faculties. The MediMent programme is a model for systematic interdisciplinary support of early- and mid-phase career development for medical academics. It comprises mentoring, training and networking modules tailored for pre- and post-doctoral students at the Medical Faculty. It contributes to organisational development and reducing gender inequality by an affirmative action programme for women. The programme supports individual career-building, teaches networking skills for an interdisciplinary workplace and assists in conflict resolution. Evaluation of the first 6-year programme run revealed several benefits, indicating the trio of mentoring, networking and the accompanying seminar series efficiently supports career development of young medical academics. Participating mentees felt they achieved career goals within the mentoring programme. Evaluations indicated a strong potential for future investment in the organisation through better training, improving institutional visibility and stimulating recruitment of excellent students. Mentoring supports finding and maintaining balance between departmental, clinical, research and familial responsibilities, and dealing with hierarchical power structures. The programme develops synergy within the university hospital by supporting interdisciplinary cooperation, and organisational development by supporting knowledge transfer.”
I very much hope that you enjoy reading the varied and scholarly contributions to knowledge in Issue 2 of our journal. In our inaugural issue we focused on coaching to a greater degree but this time we have explored mentoring in an international education context, looking at its transformative potential in the lives of those who work alongside future generations of learners while they explore their own learning. Understanding the dynamics of mentoring from the mentor and mentee standpoint is crucial and is the means by which mentoring can evolve. How different from some of the earliest mentor training programs where the emphasis was on mentee-as-learner and not mentor-as-learner too.
We are looking for high-quality research into coaching to include in future issues and warmly encourage readers of our journal to recommend our journal to any colleagues involved coaching and/or mentoring research in education settings. Please do bear in mind we can only consider manuscripts which focus on the theory and practice of mentoring and we need authors to adhere to guidelines accessible at IJMCE's web site (along with excellent resources for reviewers).