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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Linda J. Searby and Denise Armstrong

The purpose of this paper is to introduce readers to the special issue on “middle space” education leaders (those individuals who are second-in-command in schools). The…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce readers to the special issue on “middle space” education leaders (those individuals who are second-in-command in schools). The special issue contains papers pertaining to mentoring those preparing for and aspiring to the assistant school leader role, as well as papers on programs that support new assistant principals/vice-principals through mentoring and coaching. The authors provide background on middle space leadership and mentoring from existing research literature, introduce the international papers selected for the issue, and identify unifying themes across the papers.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors provide highlights of relevant research literature on the importance of mentoring for school leaders in general, but also specifically address the need for mentoring for middle space leaders from the scant literature that exists on the topic. After reviewing the relevant literature, the authors provide an overview of the seven papers that were chosen for the issue through a rigorous peer-review process.

Findings

The co-editors of this special issue identify common themes that emerged from the papers chosen for the issue. In general, authors note that middle space leaders have unique mentoring and coaching needs, and there are few formal programs that address their needs. However, there is a growing awareness of the need to support assistant principals through structured mentoring programs, as well as preparing and mentoring those who aspire to the position.

Research limitations/implications

The seven papers chosen for the special issue represent a variety of research methodologies. A limitation is that the majority of the studies are qualitative, with small sample populations. However, even with small sample sizes, commonalities can be seen across the studies and across international contexts.

Practical implications

This review summarizes the issues facing middle space leaders in education and how they can be effectively addressed. The global audience that can benefit from engaging with the papers in this special issue includes educational leadership faculty, educational governing bodies, policymakers, school district central office personnel, senior principals, and assistant principals themselves.

Originality/value

This paper and the seven that follow extend the scant research literature in the realm of middle space leaders in education. They provide unique insights – from different international contexts including the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, and New Zealand – into the need for and potential benefits of mentoring and coaching aspiring and new middle space leaders.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Gabriela Pleschová and Lynn McAlpine

Mentoring has been increasingly used in educational development to facilitate transfer of knowledge from programs for higher education teachers to their pedagogic…

Abstract

Purpose

Mentoring has been increasingly used in educational development to facilitate transfer of knowledge from programs for higher education teachers to their pedagogic practice. However, studies are missing which would critically assess the outcomes of mentoring in programs for university teachers. The purpose of this paper is to systematically review existing research on mentoring in the context of educational development in higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a careful search strategy, 17 relevant scholarly sources were selected and analyzed to document the results of mentoring at individual, departmental and institutional levels.

Findings

Among the striking findings was the lack of clarity or definition surrounding mentoring and similar terms, coaching and tutoring and the lack of methodological rigour in many studies. However, those methodologically more advanced studies suggest that mentoring can become a valuable component of educational development programs. As reported by previous research, mentoring can: enhance university teachers’ cognitive abilities, beliefs and attitudes; improve the effectiveness of teaching; increase teachers’ capability to research teaching and learning; enhance mentoring skills; and improve the overall teaching climate at universities.

Practical implications

Categorization of different types of outcomes of mentoring in educational development can help the practitioners engaged in introducing or re-designing educational development programs with a mentoring element.

Originality/value

This is the first systematic review of the studies discussing the process, value and outcomes of teacher mentoring to improve pedagogical practice at the university level.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 26 May 2020

Trista Hollweck

International educational research has shown that high quality coaching, mentoring, and induction for beginning teachers can enhance development and retention of highly…

Abstract

International educational research has shown that high quality coaching, mentoring, and induction for beginning teachers can enhance development and retention of highly effective teachers and, ultimately, increase student success. In Canada, like many jurisdictions, teacher induction programs have grown in popularity as a means to support beginning teachers, yet programs vary greatly in terms of delivery and effectiveness. This chapter presents the findings from a qualitative case study that examined one bespoke teacher induction program in the Western Québec School Board (WQSB). Specifically, it reports on the experience of mentor–coaches (MC) who are part of the school district’s Mentoring and Coaching Fellowship (MCF). In the district, mentoring and coaching are viewed as distinct, yet interconnected components of an effective induction program. In the WQSB, teaching fellows and MCs learn together in a social and situated context (Lave & Wenger, 1991) as they focus on four key elements: the practice of teaching, navigating school and district culture, what it means to be a teacher, and the formation of a teaching identity. Research has shown effective coaching and mentoring programs not only enhance teaching and learning, but also they offer powerful benefits to veteran teachers. With mentoring and coaching practice highly diverse and inconsistent depending on the quality of the relationship and the context, it is clear that effective selection, support and professional learning and development for MCs is essential. This chapter examines the strengths and challenges of the school district’s Mentor–Coach Professional Learning Network (MC PLN) from the perspective of network members. Data collected from questionnaires, focus groups and semi-structured interviews were abductively analyzed with and against Brown and Poortman’s (2018) five supporting conditions for effective PLNs. Study findings indicated that the MC PLN offers valuable professional learning and development for participants and is a critical feature in a powerful induction program that also focuses on “growing the top.” However, challenges also emerged that highlight the need for the district to ensure ongoing attention to the PLN’s structure and processes in order to sustain MC motivation, engagement, and commitment.

Details

Professional Learning Networks: Facilitating Transformation in Diverse Contexts with Equity-seeking Communities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-894-9

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Article
Publication date: 25 March 2012

Sarah Fletcher

The purpose of this paper is to explore the theory and practice of Generative Research mentoring. The author has been involved in research mentoring teachers in schools…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the theory and practice of Generative Research mentoring. The author has been involved in research mentoring teachers in schools since 2002 and in the course of her work her concepts about integrating mentoring and action research have changed. She explains how and why she has moved to adopt an Appreciative Inquiry approach integrated with a model of mentoring that she developed in the course of her own practice in schools.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a self study of teacher education practice where the author analyses her own theories and practices of research mentoring for teachers in schools in England and in Japan, over a ten year period. She investigates how the nature of self‐study is impacted upon by culture in diverse intercultural contexts.

Findings

This article reflects work in process. The findings to date suggest that teacher research and thus (potentially) research mentoring for teachers: is not informed by consensus on what teachers should learn as research skills; might usefully be focused upon action research enabled by teachers’ self study; works differently as self study according to Eastern/Western concepts of self; is likely to become more universally acceptable as self study through use of web‐based templates where self studies are shared e.g. at www.merlot.org; and should challenge mentoring/coaching techniques from other contexts such as business, nor assuming techniques successful in one context are so in another. Practitioner researchers in educational settings are likely to benefit from outsiders’ support, be that from colleagues based in universities or from teacher researchers working in other schools. That situation, in my experience, could come about where generative research mentoring has been successful and research mentees emerge to become research mentors for others within the profession of teaching. Importantly, individuals’ self study research should not rely upon unsupported opinions or upon validation by a peer group with self‐interest in seeing one of the community's study, accepted for university accreditation such as a Masters Level Award or a doctorate.

Originality/value

While the practice of research mentoring for teacher researchers has been in process in schools in England for ten years, the concept of Generative Research Mentoring, whereby the mentee prepares to become a mentor for other teacher researchers, is unique to the author's work. The value of generative research mentoring, not just for schoolteachers but also for academic contexts such as universities internationally, is that it can build capacity for research to be undertaken among those whose research skills are previously under‐developed.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Tina Salter

The purpose of this paper is to explore why mentoring is preferred over coaching when supporting pre-service teachers, compared with other stages in a teacher’s career…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore why mentoring is preferred over coaching when supporting pre-service teachers, compared with other stages in a teacher’s career where coaching is more readily available.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper first draws upon pre-existing literature which addresses the ways in which mentoring is used for pre-service teachers; followed by a discussion of the place and use of coaching within education. It then focuses on data generated from interviews with senior teachers responsible for the induction of pre-service teachers within three UK-based secondary schools and compares this to findings about mentor and coach approaches used in other sectors or contexts.

Findings

Findings point towards an imbalance in the use of mentoring and coaching within education, with a particular underuse of coaching for pre-service teachers. Some mentoring (and indeed coaching) interventions are founded on a deficit model; therefore mentors of pre-service teachers could be helped and supported to make greater use of a mentor-coach integrated asset-based approach, which encourages the use of reflection and self-directed learning.

Practical implications

Schools using internal mentors for pre-service teachers, or internal coaches for post-qualified teachers, could benefit from understanding what a mentor-coach integrated approach might look like, founded on an asset-based model.

Originality/value

The literature is limited with regards to the use of coaching for pre-service teachers. This paper examines the use of mentoring and coaching within schools in a more balanced way; questioning the underlying beliefs about the purpose of mentoring and coaching and whether or not these are based on deficit or asset-based models.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 March 2019

Paul Nathan Bennett

The purpose of this paper is to explore how teacher coaching is being implemented in New Zealand secondary schools.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how teacher coaching is being implemented in New Zealand secondary schools.

Design/methodology/approach

A pragmatic mixed methods approach was identified as the most suitable. A dominant qualitative approach, using a sequential design, incorporating triangulation of methods and perspectives across time, provided an appropriate research design framework.

Findings

The findings indicate that teacher coaching is a popular professional development approach that has been enthusiastically implemented throughout New Zealand secondary schools. The four factors of purpose, evaluation, training and funding have been shown to be interrelated factors operating in New Zealand teacher coaching programmes. These factors are perceived to have an influence on teacher coaching programmes achieving their stated objectives.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this study is that it provides a snapshot of teacher coaching in New Zealand secondary schools, and the snapshot presented is constantly changing. A methodological limitation of the study related to the 28 per cent response rate of the questionnaire and the small sample size used for the interview phases.

Practical implications

This study encourages school leaders to consider if they have defined teacher coaching in the context of their programmes and articulated their objectives. They are persuaded to think about how they could design robust evaluation strategies and targeted training.

Social implications

The findings show the concept of teacher coaching is a social construct that is influenced not only by unique environmental contexts but also the individual perceptions of all those involved.

Originality/value

This study provides new knowledge in relation to how and why teacher coaching is being used and the factors that influence whether programme objectives are achieved.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 May 2020

Christian van Nieuwerburgh, Margaret Barr, Chris Munro, Heather Noon and Daniel Arifin

This paper adds depth to our understanding of how coaching works by exploring the experiences of 14 aspiring school principals who received one-to-one leadership coaching

Abstract

Purpose

This paper adds depth to our understanding of how coaching works by exploring the experiences of 14 aspiring school principals who received one-to-one leadership coaching as part of a leadership development programme.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a phenomenological approach. Individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with the participants. Thematic analysis was used to code the data and identify themes.

Findings

This paper reports on four themes based on the experiences of the participants: having time to reflect, feeling safe to explore, focussing on what's important for me and experiencing positive emotions.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are unique to the participants who volunteered to take part in this study and therefore not representative of a general population of aspiring educational leaders. Further research is needed into the possible benefits of coaching to support educators undergoing leadership training.

Practical implications

The findings raise a potential dilemma within the teaching profession about the use of educators' time; while they need to give time and attention to multiple stakeholders, they also need to protect time for their own development and self-reflection. Based on the reported experiences of the participants in this study, it is recommended that coaching be considered a component of professional development for educational leaders.

Originality/value

This paper adds to the growing research base for coaching in education, providing a unique insight into the experiences of aspiring school principals who received one-to-one leadership coaching as part of a leadership development programme.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 20 November 2013

Gawaian Bodkin-Andrews, Valerie Harwood, Samantha McMahon and Amy Priestly

Generally, theory and research investigating the effectiveness of mentoring has offered little resounding evidence to attest to mentoring programmes being a strategic…

Abstract

Purpose

Generally, theory and research investigating the effectiveness of mentoring has offered little resounding evidence to attest to mentoring programmes being a strategic initiative that make a real difference in reducing the educational inequities many minority students endure. In contrast to this existing research base, the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) has often been cited as one of the most successful mentoring initiatives within Australia. It is the purpose of this chapter to examine how AIME may impact on the educational aspirations and school self-concept of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

Methodology

A series of multi-group analyses were centred around Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and structural equation modelling techniques that sought not only to explore the psychometric validity of the measures utilized within this study, but also to identify how the measures may be related after accounting for background variables (e.g. gender, parental education).

Findings

The results found that the measures utilized held strong psychometric properties allowing an increased level of confidence in the measures used and the conclusion that may be drawn from their use in analyses. Overall, the results suggested that AIME is an effective tool for increasing not only the educational aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students but also their levels (and utility) of School Self-concept and School Enjoyment.

Implications

The implications suggest that not only is AIME an essential tool for closing the educational gap between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Aboriginal students, but also our understanding of mentoring must be extended well beyond simplistic notions of role-modelling.

Details

Seeding Success in Indigenous Australian Higher Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-686-6

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 August 2013

Andrew J. Hobson and Angi Malderez

The purpose of this article is to identify and examine root causes of the failure of school‐based mentoring to realize its full potential.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to identify and examine root causes of the failure of school‐based mentoring to realize its full potential.

Design/methodology/approach

The article draws on the re‐analysis of data from two major mixed‐method empirical studies carried out in England. It focuses on data generated from interviews with beginner teachers and mentors in both primary and secondary schools.

Findings

The findings point to a failure to create appropriate conditions for effective mentoring in England at the level of the mentoring relationship, the school, and the national policy context.

Practical implications

Implications of the findings include the need to achieve a greater degree of informed consensus on the meaning and purposes of mentoring in teacher education, and to ensure that mentors of beginner teachers are appropriately trained for the role.

Originality/value

The article identifies the practice of judgemental mentoring or “judgementoring” as an obstacle to school‐based mentoring realizing its potential and an impediment to the professional learning and wellbeing of beginner teachers. It also points to worrying indications that judgementoring may be becoming, through accrued experiences, the default understanding of mentoring in England.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 May 2013

Christopher Rhodes and Sarah Fletcher

This article aims to propose a three‐stage framework for on‐going professional development of aspirant and incumbent heads that is designed to increase their own…

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Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to propose a three‐stage framework for on‐going professional development of aspirant and incumbent heads that is designed to increase their own self‐efficacy. It is suggested that continuity and progression in self‐efficacy development can be addressed via processes pertaining to acculturation, assimilation and actualisation. The on‐going work of Fletcher augments this conceptual framework with a new approach to action research ensuring an evidence‐based foundation to the growth of self‐efficacy.

Design/methodology/approach

The article offers an analysis of existing research evidence in coaching, mentoring, talent management, leadership development and self‐efficacy to propose a framework useful in research and in the development of self‐efficacy that may help secure transition between the potential to lead and high performance in leadership incumbency in schools.

Findings

The article points to the importance of coaching and mentoring as potential scaffolds to create an appreciation of self‐efficacy's value at all stages of the headship journey. It is suggested that active development of individual's self‐efficacy through mentoring and coaching relationships may serve to ensure that the loss of human potential of those who could lead but never completed the journey is reduced.

Research limitations/implications

The article identifies new questions pertaining to the practice of high quality coaching and mentoring in the journey to leadership in schools and raises further questions pertaining to the conceptualisation of learning relationships and the interactions and feelings involved in such learning relationships.

Originality/value

This article suggests a phased approach, an integrated vision of mentoring and coaching for headteacher development that can span their professional lifetime. This generative approach is what distinguishes the authors’ proposal from others. An emphasis is placed on self‐study integrated in an Appreciative Inquiry approach, however, the authors’ proposal goes further in that they have realised that aspirant headteachers should be taught how to undertake self study integrated with action research not only for their own benefit as they journey towards incumbency but also so that they can become coach and mentor for others; for their staff, pupils and other aspirant headteachers.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

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