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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Caroline Daly and Emmajane Milton

The purpose of this paper is to report on a qualitative study of the learning and development of 70 external mentors during the first year of their deployment to support…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on a qualitative study of the learning and development of 70 external mentors during the first year of their deployment to support early career teachers’ professional learning as part of a national initiative aimed at school improvement in Wales.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a narrative methodology that elicited accounts of external mentors’ learning experiences that were captured as textual data and analysed using an inductive approach to identify: first, the manifest themes that appeared at declarative level, and second, the latent (sub-textual) themes of external mentor learning and development.

Findings

Four key themes emerged that indicate the complexity of transition to the role of external mentor in high-stakes contexts. From these, eight theoretically-informed principles were derived which support mentors to embrace uncertainty as essential to their learning and development, and to harness the potential they bring as boundary-crossers to support the development of new teachers.

Research limitations/implications

The study investigated the first year of a three-year programme and worked with one form of qualitative data collection. The research results may lack generalisability and a longitudinal study is necessary to further explore the validity of the findings.

Practical implications

The eight principles provide a foundation for mentor development programmes that can support ambitious goals for mentoring early career teachers.

Originality/value

The study addresses the under-researched area of the learning and development of external mentors at a national scale.

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Gillian Hallam and Carol Newton‐Smith

To present the findings of the comparative evaluation of two transitional mentoring programs developed for new library and information professionals in Australia, one as a…

Abstract

Purpose

To present the findings of the comparative evaluation of two transitional mentoring programs developed for new library and information professionals in Australia, one as a group program and the other with pairs of mentors/mentees.

Design/methodology/approach

The research project involved an initial review of the literature. A comparative study was undertaken, with a survey approach to collect data from the participants in the transitional mentoring programs. The study obtained data about three key areas: career‐related, learning‐related, and professional development.

Findings

It was found that participants had a high level of satisfaction with both the programs and both mentor and mentee reported positive career, learning and personal development outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to one year of transitional mentoring activity for one professional field in Australia. It would be beneficial to continue the study over a longer period of time to collect further data from other participants.

Practical implications

The research project highlights evaluation of mentoring programs. The project has helped develop an initial understanding of benefits to be gained through mentoring relationships to support new professionals. The study is likely to have wider application across other professional disciplines and may encourage professionals to consider mentoring as a valuable part of career development.

Originality/value

The paper provides information about two different models of transitional mentoring programs, together with one possible approach for the evaluation of mentoring programs. The paper offers support and encouragement to any professional group planning to establish and manage a mentoring program.

Details

Library Management, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 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: 1 December 1995

Tony Bush and Marianne Coleman

Mentoring is an important mode of professional development in manycountries. It involves an experienced colleague supporting thedevelopment of a new principal. Reports the…

Abstract

Mentoring is an important mode of professional development in many countries. It involves an experienced colleague supporting the development of a new principal. Reports the findings of one aspect of a major national research project on mentoring and teacher education in England and Wales. Considers the nature and purpose of mentoring and examines the “match” between mentor and the new headteacher. Reports on the benefits of mentoring for new principals, mentors and the educational system, and discusses certain limitations of this approach to professional development. Presents several conceptual models of the mentor relationship and reports that the dominant normative conception is that of peer support. Concludes that mentoring is valuable in supporting principals as they adapt to their new role but it may lack the rigour to be a really effective mode of professional development.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 3 December 2018

Anne H. Simmonds and Andrew P. Dicks

Peer-to-peer (P2P) mentorship has been identified as an important component of professional identity formation in higher education (HE). This may be especially true for…

Abstract

Purpose

Peer-to-peer (P2P) mentorship has been identified as an important component of professional identity formation in higher education (HE). This may be especially true for education-focused or teaching stream (TS) faculty to thrive in times of changing organizational structures and work environments. The purpose of this paper is to present a critical reflection on the experiences in a faculty P2P mentoring for teaching program and considers the ways in which such programs can influence professional identity formation among TS academics.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, a matched faculty mentorship pair from Nursing and Chemistry disciplines uses critical reflection as a process of inquiry to interpret their experiences of building and sustaining an effective mentoring relationship as part of the P2P program, and to consider implications for professional identity formation and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Findings

Through the P2P program, the authors discovered that establishment of clear goals, a commitment to teaching and mentoring processes, and a mutual desire to build a relationship based on authenticity and reciprocity resulted in positive short- and long-term impacts on instructional practices. Professional identity was strengthened through intentional engagement and the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers, contributing to a renewed sense of confidence and commitment.

Originality/value

Interest in examining professional identity formation in HE has been growing over the past decade. This paper is novel in the critical reflection on a structured peer mentorship initiative through the lens of professional identity formation, with implications for planning and executing mentoring programs for TS faculty.

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2017

Bruce G. Barnett, Alan R. Shoho and Nathern S.A. Okilwa

When assistant principals experience positive mentoring and professional development, they can obtain valuable knowledge and leadership skills from these learning…

Abstract

Purpose

When assistant principals experience positive mentoring and professional development, they can obtain valuable knowledge and leadership skills from these learning opportunities. To better understand the formal and informal mechanisms assistant principals use to expand their knowledge and skills, the purpose of this paper is to examine important advice mentors provided for them and the professional learning activities that prepare them for their school leadership roles.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews with 69 elementary, middle, and high school assistant principals were conducted. Questions focused on the advice mentors have provided and significant learning experiences that have aided in their growth as school leaders.

Findings

Results reveal that assistant principals greatly appreciate insights from mentors about how to enhance decision-making skills, improve people and communication skills, reflect on their personal qualities and capabilities, and clarify their values and beliefs. Their preferred means for professional growth is to work with former and current administrators they trust and respect.

Originality/value

This study goes beyond examining the structural and procedural aspects of mentoring by describing highly valued advice provided by mentors affecting assistant principals’ professional development and growth. For mentoring to be effective, this study suggests that mentors should provide opportunities for assistant principals to develop their decision-making, people, and communication skills as well to clarify their personal capabilities, values, and beliefs.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2012

Oksana Parylo, Sally J. Zepeda and Ed Bengtson

The purpose of this paper is to examine principal mentoring, a process that is significant in principal identification, socialization, development, and retention.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine principal mentoring, a process that is significant in principal identification, socialization, development, and retention.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was framed within the social constructivism paradigm and thematically examined individual perspectives to develop the thematic constructs relevant to the participants’ experiences of and perceptions about principal mentoring.

Findings

Thematic analysis of the interview data from 16 principals from the state of Georgia, USA, revealed five major themes related to leaders’ experiences of and perceptions about principal mentoring: mentoring as recruitment; mentoring as socialization; mentoring as support; mentoring as professional development; and mentoring as reciprocal learning.

Research limitations/implications

These findings were limited to the sample of principals used for this analysis. Researchers are encouraged to examine principal mentoring in other contexts.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

The paper identifies mentoring as an important path to principal effectiveness and contributes 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.

Details

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

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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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2015

Marion Jones

Mentoring and coaching are key strategies employed in workplace learning and are perceived as effective ways to provide learner support. However, there is a paucity of…

Abstract

Purpose

Mentoring and coaching are key strategies employed in workplace learning and are perceived as effective ways to provide learner support. However, there is a paucity of evidence of how research outcomes may have influenced these practices and to what extent they have benefited those involved in this process. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that research on mentoring and coaching can in fact result in beneficial impacts on education professionals’ learning and development.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper critically reflects on the process of developing an impact case study submitted to the UK Research Excellence Framework 2014. It seeks to make explicit the close relationship that exists between research and professional practice and how evidence of any resulting impact of research on user communities can be identified, collected and verified.

Findings

In describing the process of developing such an impact case study the article focuses on three key aspects: identifying a suitable case; meeting the criteria of high quality research; and evidencing impact. It highlights the importance of a collective, cross-professional approach and draws attention to the nexus that needs to be established between user and research communities, between academics and professional practitioners, in order to generate evidence of research impact in the field.

Originality/value

This paper brings to light the benefits research in mentoring and coaching can have on policy and practice, specifically in terms of education professionals’ workplace learning and continuing professional development in a local and international context.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2019

Michelle Attard Tonna

Newly qualified teachers (NQTs) seek advice from more experienced colleagues and are considered as learning through participation, including observing other teachers and

Abstract

Purpose

Newly qualified teachers (NQTs) seek advice from more experienced colleagues and are considered as learning through participation, including observing other teachers and receiving feedback. In many education systems around the world, induction programmes are developed to support these new teachers in needs ranging from pedagogical to the practical. The induction programme in Malta has been in place since 2010 and offers support to NQTs through their mentor, a member of the school management team, and their college principal. The purpose of this paper is to examine the benefits of mentoring as experienced by a group of NQTs and their mentors in select Maltese schools.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a grounded theory approach (Glaser and Strauss, 1967; Strauss and Corbin, 1994), the reflections and online conversations with 15 mentors from 10 schools, who were given the role of supporting an NQT in their school for one scholastic year, informed this study. This approach was used because grounded theory seeks to derive its explanations from the data of the phenomenon itself and encourages systematic, detailed analysis of the data. Codes were developed from the transcripts, which were then compared against the research questions, using an inductive approach. Themes emerged, helping the researcher to construct meaning.

Findings

The data strongly suggest that a mentoring approach based on reflection and dialogue promoted positive relationships between the mentors and the mentees and led to professional growth. Moreover, the school and social environment played a crucial role in the way the participants interacted and defined their challenges. It is thus recognised that the NQT induction programme needs to be adequately understood and acknowledged by schools and the education authorities in order for it to reach its aims of supporting beginning teachers. Physical spaces and opportunities for collaboration can enhance what the mentors are trying to achieve.

Originality/value

This research is the first of its kind in Malta as it explores the perceptions and experiences of mentors who are actively participating in the induction programme for NQTs.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

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