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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Dean Robson and Peter Mtika

The purpose of this paper is to focus on a partnership-based mentoring model and the learning experiences of participant mentees and mentors. As part of the project, newly…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on a partnership-based mentoring model and the learning experiences of participant mentees and mentors. As part of the project, newly qualified teachers (NQTs) were supported to develop and implement a practitioner enquiry (teacher/action research) in a learning community involving two local authorities and an initial teacher education institution.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative data were collected from five semi-structured focus group interviews with key participant groupings to uncover perceptions and experiences of the partnership and professional learning therein. Analysis using an inductive and iterative approach pinpointed a number of emerging themes used to frame key elements of the findings.

Findings

Findings suggested that the partnership-based model promoted the professional learning and development of NQTs and their mentors in various ways. The nature and shape of the partnership had an influence on the quality of mentoring and support experienced. The community effectively supported the implementation of meaningful enquiry projects, which had clear connections to the enhancement of professional practice and pupil learning. However, specific tensions and conflicts emerged as hindrances to successful partnership-based mentoring in the specific context.

Originality/value

New insights into the role of a partnership-based mentoring scheme supporting practitioner enquiry-based learning of NQTs emerged. The local, layered community defining the partnership, and operating within the frame of a national induction scheme, was analysed. Benefits for partners were identified and specific challenges and tensions highlighted, both providing new evidence with potential to impact policy and practice. Policy developments supporting teachers to be mentors and enquiring professionals need to recognise the structural and support tensions that exist in contextual practice.

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: 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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Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2018

Janneke Verheijen

In rural Malawi, money constantly circulates. As soon as villagers, poor as they are, get some money in hands, it is swiftly spent. Tracking how money – and other valued…

Abstract

In rural Malawi, money constantly circulates. As soon as villagers, poor as they are, get some money in hands, it is swiftly spent. Tracking how money – and other valued items like food and soap – are pushed and pulled around through an extremely poor community offers profound insights into women’s everyday survival tactics. Central to these women’s survival is the ability to mobilise support in times of need. Material wealth is found to be both a prerequisite and a threat to this ability. It can best be spent quickly, in particular ways, so as to transform it into potential sources of future support in times of need. Maximizing access to potential future support while minimizing blockage – by always appearing able to reciprocate and not giving others socially acceptable justifications to withhold support – are concerns that to a great extent shape the village women’s everyday decision-making. Understanding the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion that both result from and trigger these survival tactics is important for social scientists and policy-makers as these have far-reaching consequences, including women’s HIV risk-taking, which are difficult to explain from other vantage points.

Details

Individual and Social Adaptations to Human Vulnerability
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-175-9

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2018

Semiyu Aderibigbe, Donald S. Gray and Laura Colucci-Gray

Mentoring is widely recognised as an effective strategy for supporting the professional learning of teachers and student teachers across different educational contexts…

Abstract

Purpose

Mentoring is widely recognised as an effective strategy for supporting the professional learning of teachers and student teachers across different educational contexts. Yet, its effectiveness in initial teacher education (ITE) may be more widely conceived to take account of mentoring as a cultural practice, contributing to a change of professional learning habits and relationships towards collegiate and collaborative reflexivity. The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of mentoring experiences between teachers and student teachers, how these are embedded within the established professional learning culture of the school and the opportunities for mentoring to affect professional learning.

Design/methodology/approach

Set within the context of a teacher education reform project in Scotland, involving student teachers, mentors and university tutors, the study adopted a critical constructivist theory stance to explore mentoring relationships. A sequential mixed methods approach informed the collection and analysis of data.

Findings

Quantitative data point to a diversity of experiences of mentoring amongst teachers and student teachers. Qualitative data provide a nuanced account of participants’ views of their mentoring experiences, pointing to opportunities for revisiting assumptions about learning in the classroom as well as questioning established professional learning patterns.

Practical implications

The authors conclude that mentoring relationships cannot be disentangled from a critical interrogation of the modes of relationships and values supporting professional learning in ITE. Practical implications centre upon preparation and resources to develop mentoring as a tool for learning, embedded within the professional culture of the school.

Originality/value

This study reframes the concept of mentoring as a practice that does not simply reinforce professional expectations but seeks to redefine teacher professional learning, pedagogy and social relationships in school contexts.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 July 2020

Jenna Gillett-Swan and Deanna Grant-Smith

University-affiliated mentors serve as liaisons between schools and pre-service teachers during practicum placements, offering academic, administrative and relational…

Abstract

Purpose

University-affiliated mentors serve as liaisons between schools and pre-service teachers during practicum placements, offering academic, administrative and relational support. In the context of academic workload intensification, increasing student numbers and the need to respond to issues as they occur in time-pressured environments, the wellbeing of mentors can become compromised. Mentor wellbeing is explored, highlighting corollary impacts of threats to pre-service teacher wellbeing on those who support them.

Design/methodology/approach

A descriptive single case-study explored mentor lived experiences of wellbeing during the pre-service teacher practicum placement and mentoring process. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with mentors supervising pre-service teacher professional experience placements. Adopting a shadowed data approach, mentors shared their own experiences and reflected on the experiences of others. Data was analysed using thematic content analysis.

Findings

Mentor and pre-service teacher wellbeing experiences exhibited similar wellbeing indicators, including personal and professional stress, workload strains and ethical dilemmas. Many mentors felt invisible in terms of supports for their own self-care as the focus was on meeting practicum stakeholder and student support needs rather than their own wellbeing.

Originality/value

Changes to professional experience practices must consider potential impacts on pre-service teachers, in-school supervisors and the university-affiliated mentors as the wellbeing of each is potentially impacted the wellbeing of others in this professional experience triad. Increasing emphasis on work-integrated learning experiences across multiple disciplines invites future comparison and contrast of wellbeing experiences.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

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