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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Rachel Shanks

The purpose of this paper is to introduce this special issue focussing on the mentoring of beginning teachers which supports the professional learning of not only mentees…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce this special issue focussing on the mentoring of beginning teachers which supports the professional learning of not only mentees but also mentors. The paper identifies the varied aims of beginning teacher mentoring programmes, some of the reasons for mentoring and an introduction to the six research papers published in the issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The papers in this issue examine different perspectives relating to the mentoring of student teachers and newly qualified teachers (NQTs). Different types of mentoring relationships are examined in various international contexts. The research, from Australia, the Republic of Ireland, Malta, Norway, Scotland, the USA and Wales, addresses the challenges that can occur in mentoring relationships, and enables us to better understand the professional learning that takes place in successful mentoring relationships.

Findings

The authors of the papers delineate how critical reflective practice, inquiry into professional practice, collaboration and professional learning for both mentees and mentors are key aims for many mentoring programmes. The six studies used different methods to investigate external and/or school-based mentoring programmes for student teachers and NQTs.

Research limitations/implications

A snapshot of current research into professional learning is provided with most studies being small qualitative ones. However, common themes can be identified across countries and contexts. The authors of each paper outline the implications for teacher education for their own contexts, as well as for international contexts.

Originality/value

Teacher education programmes employ mentoring pairs and triads in order to develop particular traits and reflective practices in teachers. Research shows how mentor programmes provide classroom experience and professional learning for student and NQTs as well as professional learning for teacher mentors. University tutors play a key role in supporting not only the mentees and mentors but also the mentoring relationship.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 April 2020

Kinga Káplár-Kodácsy and Helga Dorner

The aim of this study is to explore how mentors' and mentees' self-concepts and related reflective practices in mentored teacher training are supported by using audio…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to explore how mentors' and mentees' self-concepts and related reflective practices in mentored teacher training are supported by using audio diaries within the framework of Dialogical Self Theory (Hermans, 2001), and how it could be used in the wider context of teacher training.

Design/methodology/approach

This study explores a specific qualitative methodology, the use of audio diary in self-reflective activities, in the context of teacher training in Hungary. When analysing the data, we used the thematic analysis approach to employ a relatively high level of interpretation.

Findings

Multi-level meta-position reflections have emerged from the data that were comparable at a given point in time. We found five different I-positions (Hermans, 2001) that suggest that mentors and mentees perceived of these as shared themes of the emerging incidents in mentoring. However, those aspects of the mentoring process on which mentors and mentees reflected only vaguely or have not reflected mutually in their audio diaries involved a certain level of mis-positioning and further tension.

Practical implications

Audio diaries are beneficial for personal and professional development. The tools and the methodology around them could be leveraged to broaden mentor–mentee dyads, which may lead to including university-based teacher educators and researchers from the field.

Originality/value

The value of this study arises from the process of recording audio diary logs as a direct representation of thoughts during the mentorship process.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2019

Jeffrey S. Winter, Sherri Bressman and Efrat Sara Efron

The purpose of this paper is to describe an innovative model of mentoring that evolved over the past ten years as a result of experience, research and self-study. This…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe an innovative model of mentoring that evolved over the past ten years as a result of experience, research and self-study. This research, conducted in Orthodox Jewish day schools will raise awareness of potential benefits of mentoring as an effective means for supporting Q1 teachers’ classroom effectiveness and sense of well-being. Background research is presented on mentoring as a powerful tool in supporting teachers throughout their careers. An original aspect of this paper is the analysis of exemplary cross-cultural mentoring intentional training, ongoing support and solicitation of feedback. Findings are based on samples from data collected over several years and are analyzed using qualitative tools. The authors discuss implications from two published self-studies of an exemplary mentoring model in which mentors worked with teachers and explore considerations for teacher well-being.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative–narrative approach was chosen for these studies. The findings were drawn from three sources of data: open-ended questionnaires, end-of-year letters teachers wrote to their principals reporting on changes in their classroom practices and in-depth, semi-structured interviews conducted with teachers, mentors and administrators in each of the schools participating in the program.

Findings

The two self-studies, in tandem with the teachers’ surveys and reflections, illustrate how the teachers viewed the connection between the mentoring they received and their own professional growth. Overall, teachers reported a general satisfaction as a result of participating in the mentoring program. Many noted that the program provided a useful framework offering a personalized approach to their professional development. The teachers were directed to frame their own learning agendas by setting their own instructional improvement goals and asking meaningful questions relevant to their particular classroom situations.

Research limitations/implications

Limited sample size and private religious school environment might put limits on implications.

Practical implications

The presented model has universal implications. A personalized mentoring model, with supplementary professional development sessions geared toward topics supporting well-being, can be applied in any educational setting. Schools leaders must find ways to foster teacher satisfaction and keep teachers engaged in their own learning. Offering teachers a personalized approach that supports continued growth while encouraging them to set their own learning agendas can serve as a vital bridge to teacher satisfaction and well-being.

Social implications

The findings of this paper have implications for school improvement, cross-cultural mentoring, mentor training and teacher well-being.

Originality/value

Original aspects of this paper include: the self-study of exemplary mentoring program, application of mentoring in cross-cultural environments, teacher well-being in private schools and mentoring of teachers in Orthodox Jewish schools.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2012

Mark Wyatt and Ewen Arnold

The purpose of this paper is to explore the school‐based learning mentoring of a senior teacher of English in Oman, who was conducting action research into her mentoring

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the school‐based learning mentoring of a senior teacher of English in Oman, who was conducting action research into her mentoring practices while engaged in part‐time in‐service language teacher education. The senior teacher realized teachers in her school found post‐lesson discussions in English with inspectors challenging and, using video‐stimulated recall, tried to help them become more reflective.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative case study research methodology: semi‐structured interviews provide insights into the senior teacher's perceptions of her own development and professional knowledge of reflective practice and mentoring. They also provide oral accounts of her action research, written accounts of which are provided by reflective writing. Audio‐recordings and transcripts of post‐lesson discussions, triangulated with classroom observation, provide evidence of mentoring practices.

Findings

The senior teacher developed creative and flexible solutions to the challenges she faced, in the process gaining confidence and assuming mentor identity. Various factors helped, including a supportive environment, the in‐service teacher education course and engagement with video‐stimulated recall.

Research limitations/implications

Despite methodological limitations, including limited observational data and use of self‐report, there are implications for socio‐cultural contexts where English has a semi‐official role in mentoring discussions and where there are moves towards reflective models of teacher development.

Practical implications

Video‐stimulated recall may be a particularly effective tool for supporting learning mentoring in contexts where loyalty to the “in‐group” encourages sharing. To facilitate learning mentoring, the creation and maintenance of supportive environments appears crucial.

Originality/value

Learning mentors seeking fresh ideas, teacher educators and school managers will find this useful.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2015

Frances Langdon and Lorrae Ward

In recent years mentoring has been promoted as an essential, yet complex, new teacher induction dynamic. Mentors generally develop their knowledge of this role in…

Abstract

Purpose

In recent years mentoring has been promoted as an essential, yet complex, new teacher induction dynamic. Mentors generally develop their knowledge of this role in isolation and in situ, and despite extensive research in the field few studies investigate how mentors learn. Therefore it is important to continue to examine the complex aspects of learning to mentor. The purpose of this paper is to focus on understanding the knowledge, attitudes and skills required by mentors to simultaneously focus on their own learning, new teachers’ learning and student learning.

Design/methodology/approach

In this New Zealand study the authors examined a 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 gathered through learning conversations, action research documentation and reflections. They were analysed using qualitative methodology.

Findings

Evident was a shift in mentoring practice from a focus on the transmission of knowledge-for-practice to inquiry into knowledge-of-practice. Change was observed after sustained and serious engagement with evidence about mentoring practices. However the shifts did not come easy, nor were they assured.

Research limitations/implications

This study is not without limitations. Transferability is potentially problematic. The pilot study was well resourced, therefore expecting the implementation and outcomes to transfer to other contexts without similar resourcing maybe unrealistic.

Practical implications

The findings contributed to the development of a mentoring curriculum and national guidelines for mentoring new teachers.

Originality/value

While the findings emerged from a situated context, the theoretical and practice issues reported are matters for international attention, particularly the matter of transitioning from a well-practiced, efficient teacher mentor to an adaptive educative mentor.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

David Cameron and Anna Grant

The purpose of this paper is to explore the ways in which external subject-specific mentoring can influence the professional identity construction of early career physics…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the ways in which external subject-specific mentoring can influence the professional identity construction of early career physics teachers (ECPT).

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology evolved from the evaluation of a mentoring project, involving semi-structured interviews with a number of early career teachers. Responses from 18 teachers, which related to the impact of the mentoring relationship on their professional identity development, were subject to a process of iterative thematic coding in the context of interpretative repertoires via a collaborative “developmental dialogue” between the managers of the mentoring project and its external evaluators.

Findings

The analysis of participants’ responses suggested that the nature of the relationship between early career teacher and mentor played a role in the emergence, or suppression, of their professional identities as physics teachers at the start of their teaching careers. In some cases, mentoring provision was little short of a “lifeline” for the teachers.

Practical implications

Mentors need the opportunity to develop their professional practice and identity through contact with the community of teacher educators. The practice of training, mentoring and coaching teachers should be valued at least as much as teaching itself and should be recognised as its own professional practice.

Originality/value

This study builds on a number of well-established pieces of research and concepts relating to the challenges facing early career teachers and their professional identity construction. It provides insight into the challenges facing ECPTs specifically, which includes the risk of isolation and unrealistic expectations from colleagues. It not only confirms the merits of external mentoring, but also demonstrates the significant responsibility, which comes with the mentor’s role and the negative impact on teachers’ professional identity construction caused by deficiencies in mentoring.

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2012

Benjamin Kutsyuruba

The purpose of this exploratory article is to address the questions of teacher attrition and retention by examining the policies supporting beginning teachers in different…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this exploratory article is to address the questions of teacher attrition and retention by examining the policies supporting beginning teachers in different jurisdictions (provinces and territories) in Canada through teacher induction and mentorship programs.

Design/methodology/approach

This research study relied on the collection of documents as the primary method of data collection. Both policy documents as means of external communication and the informal responses to formal policies by various stakeholders were analyzed in a complementary fashion in this study. The study examined numerous government documents, websites, program/policy memoranda, newsletters, as well as academic reviews pertaining to beginning teacher induction programs across Canada.

Findings

Data analysis revealed significant policy variability across the provinces and localities, with comprehensive induction programs instituted only by the educational authorities in New Brunswick, Ontario, and Northwest Territories. A fundamental building‐block of the induction programs was the creation of a formal mentoring program that matched experienced teachers with teachers who were new to the profession and/or to the province/territory.

Research limitations/implications

Policy makers should consider the implementation of structured induction programs that successfully inculcate new teachers into school cultures and result in decreased teacher attrition and increased retention of beginning teachers. Mentoring is at the core of successful induction programs. Evident in all policy‐mandated induction programs under study was the importance of the school principal's role in effective functioning of mentoring programs. This aspect of the principal's role should be further examined and researched to understand the administrator role in the implementation and functioning of effective induction and mentoring programs for beginning teachers not only in Canada but worldwide.

Practical implications

In considering implementation of teacher induction programs, policymakers need to be aware that comprehensive, intensive support programs for new educators are both an effective and an efficient public investment. If mandated by policies at the macro levels as part of formal induction programs, mentoring programs have the potential to transform schools into collaborative places by establishing a culture of mentoring in schools.

Originality/value

Despite the perceived and actual benefits, government‐instituted induction programs for new teachers are not very common in Canada. While the discussions of such programs are certainly present in the educational literature, this exploratory pan‐Canadian review of induction and mentoring policies has the ability to inform provincial and territorial policymakers about the variability in institutionalizing those programs.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Article
Publication date: 25 March 2012

Tadashi Asada

The purpose of this paper is to communicate how Japanese culture impacts upon mentoring in schools in Japan and to report on a study of mentor and novice teacher dialogue…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to communicate how Japanese culture impacts upon mentoring in schools in Japan and to report on a study of mentor and novice teacher dialogue. The study is located within the context of explanations of dialogue, practical knowledge and mentoring as collaborative enquiry. It concludes that the time spent by novice teachers in Japanese schools is too short for mentoring to move beyond an apprenticeship model.

Design/methodology/approach

In this small study conducted between June 2006 and February 2007, the dialogues between a female novice teacher and a male mentor, who had 27 years’ teaching experience, were analyzed on three occasions. According to the mentoring analysis system developed by the author and his colleagues, all discussion was recorded between the mentor and the mentee about the mentee's teaching using a digital recorder and a video camera. A transcript was made from both recordings, then morphological analysis used (a kind of text analysis) for the transcript, and nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs were identified in transcripts.

Findings

In total, 46 teaching scenarios were analyzed, where the mentor was offering his comments about a total of three recorded lessons by the mentee. Patterns of linguistic interaction between the mentor and mentee during dialogues were noted down and attempts made to identify a dialectical process (of thesis, antithesis and synthesis).

Research limitations/implications

The study undertaken took place over one year in one elementary school in Japan. The practice of mentoring is not widespread in schools and can usefully be extended.

Practical implications

For teachers to become collaborative enquirers, undertaking collaborative research focused on developing teachers’ practical knowledge, the period of initial teacher development for novice teachers could usefully be extended in schools in Japan.

Social implications

The impact of culture and, in particular, in‐group (uchi) and out‐group (soto) culture in schools in Japan needs to be understood so that novice teachers can be accepted as part of the school's in‐group.

Originality/value

The paper describes a unique study into the impact of culture in Japanese schools and, in particular, into the impact of uchi (in‐group) and soto (out‐group) traditions that reinforce the apprenticeship model of teachers’ induction into the profession.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2018

Rachel M. Lofthouse

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…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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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

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