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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2018

Suzanne Molitor, Lana Parker and Diane Vetter

After many years working with mentors for beginning teachers, both through a formal, Ministry-sponsored program, known in Ontario as the New Teacher Induction Program…

Abstract

Purpose

After many years working with mentors for beginning teachers, both through a formal, Ministry-sponsored program, known in Ontario as the New Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) and through a university-based Faculty of Education practicum, the authors cultivated an understanding of the value of both mentoring and the communities that foster it. The authors observed that pre-service mentors are not offered the same level of support as their induction mentor counterparts. The purpose of this paper is to explore the aforementioned gap by bringing together a small group of pre-service mentor teachers with several highly trained induction mentors from the NTIP program in two full days of professional development: one day of learning and community building among mentors, and the second day of collaboration by pre-service mentors alongside their teacher candidates (TCs). The authors learned that pre-service mentors need and desire professional learning and community mentoring support to develop foundational understandings about the role of mentors and the skills and strategies that support an effective mentoring practice. As a result, the authors advocate for sustainable professional development that leverages existing programs and the clarification of the pre-service mentoring role through continued study and collaboration over time.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative study was designed to explore, understand, and interpret pre-service mentor teachers’ experience of professional learning about mentoring and the role of the mentor, including their responses to participating in a like community of learners. This study brought together educators serving as pre-service and induction mentors to engage them in formal professional learning about mentoring, within an environment that created the conditions for collaboration and community in the context of learning about mentoring.

Findings

This study surfaces the insights related to the types of knowledge and skills that mentors developed in this study in addition to pointing toward the knowledge and skills they perceive to be necessary to their effective participation in their roles as mentors. The study also identifies both the value that pre-service mentors perceived as a result of being invited into a learning space and the dynamics of professional learning and dialogue in collaboration with their induction mentor counterparts and their pre-service mentees.

Research limitations/implications

This research study explores a research gap in the area of mentoring as it relates to pre-service mentors or cooperating teachers. Its unique feature involves bringing together two previously segmented groups of mentors: pre-service mentors supporting developing TCs and induction mentors supporting novice teachers. It describes the value and impact of mentoring as understood by pre-service mentors, in particular identifying the reciprocal benefits they experienced. The authors also investigate and shed light on the value and impact of pre-service mentor participation in a community that is intentionally created to support their professional learning about their role. It provides recommendations for practice and indicates areas of potential research.

Practical implications

This study surfaces the potential benefits of professional learning and community for pre-service mentors who play an integral role in supporting TCs in the completion of their education degrees. It makes practical recommendations which point to uniting pre-service and in-service mentors as participants in learning communities that build leadership capacity and advance mentoring knowledge and skills to impact the mentoring relationship. This study advocates for a restructuring existing practice in the area of pre-service mentoring to encourage professional learning and interaction that connects the work of pre-service and in-service mentors, bridging two currently separate mentoring communities.

Originality/value

This study offers a re-visioning of mentoring as a community endeavor. It advances the notion that, supported by a targeted program of professional development and participation in communities of inquiry, knowledge creation and mobilization, mentors can build their mentoring and leadership capacity and extend their professional impact.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

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Article
Publication date: 16 December 2019

Hanifi Parlar, Mahmut Polatcan and Ramazan Cansoy

Professional learning communities that merge under the same goal in schools where social relationship networks are strong can contribute to creating an atmosphere which…

Abstract

Purpose

Professional learning communities that merge under the same goal in schools where social relationship networks are strong can contribute to creating an atmosphere which provides a basis for innovativeness. In this study the relationships between social capital, innovativeness climate and professional learning communities were examined through the views of teachers working at public schools. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The data of this study, which utilised correlational survey model, were collected from 734 teachers who work in the Umraniye district of Istanbul, Turkey.

Findings

The findings revealed that there is a positive and statistically significant correlation between social capital, innovativeness climate and professional learning communities. The results demonstrated that teachers’ perceptions of social capital in schools affected their perceptions of innovativeness climate and that professional learning communities had an intermediary role in this relationship. These findings showed that the richness in social relationship networks provided a basis for the development of innovative teaching practices in schools and the professional learning environments created in schools contributed to this process.

Research limitations/implications

In this study, the intermediary role of professional learning communities on the effect of social capital on innovativeness climate was analysed via teachers’ views. In the literature no study studying the relationship between social capital, innovativeness climate and professional learning communities was found.

Practical implications

It can be put forward that there is a need for studies that analyse the effect of the roots of social capital on innovativeness culture to identify other variables that may potentially be relevant. In addition, this study may be a contribution to the literature by providing a study on the concepts of social capital and innovativeness climate, which were studied in the fields of social sciences extensively, in educational settings and this supports the field through theoretical and empirical studies.

Originality/value

This study demonstrated the effects of the concept of social capital on innovativeness climate which provides a basis for innovativeness in educational institutions. This topic is currently on the agenda of the OECD and World Bank. Moreover, this study aims to show the intermediary role of professional learning communities in the relationship between social capital and innovativeness climate.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Mandy Powell and Magda Pieczka

Over the last 50 years the social legitimacy of public relations has improved by standardising and monitoring the education and training of its practitioners. While…

Abstract

Purpose

Over the last 50 years the social legitimacy of public relations has improved by standardising and monitoring the education and training of its practitioners. While successful in developing a professional development trajectory from novice to competent practitioner, the profession has struggled to fully understand the development trajectory of its senior public relations practitioners. The diversity of occupational contexts in which public relations is practised, the condition of professional seniority and the knowledge and tools required for working at occupational boundaries is challenging for senior public relations practitioners. It is also a challenge therefore, for the profession to develop and support the learning required for senior practice beyond competency frameworks. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper employs socio-cultural learning theory and supporting empirical evidence gained in semi-structured interviews with senior practitioners in the field to explore what senior practice entails and how senior professionals learn.

Findings

Communities of practice is useful for understanding novice practitioner learning but has insufficient explanatory power for understanding senior practitioner learning. There is an urgent need for support for senior public relations learning that moves beyond reified competency frameworks and enables senior practitioners to function autonomously outside the core community of practice. Seniority requires its learners to embrace uncertainty and confront the challenge of creating new knowledges and in the everyday practices of their professional lives.

Originality/value

Communities of practice” has been influential in the fields of management and organisations (Bolisani and Scarso, 2014). This paper employs the idea of a learning process that takes place in “constellations of practices” (Wenger, 1998) to offer a view of senior practice as boundary dwelling (Engestrom, 2009) rather than boundary spanning and learning as situated (Lave and Wenger, 1991) in the liminal spaces those boundaries provide.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Daniel Carpenter

– The purpose of this paper is to explore supportive and shared leadership structures at schools as a function of school culture policies and procedures.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore supportive and shared leadership structures at schools as a function of school culture policies and procedures.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study was conducted at three secondary schools in the Midwestern USA. Administrators and teachers were interviewed, professional learning communities observed and artifacts collected to explore school culture policies, procedures and leadership in the implementation of professional learning community practice.

Findings

This study concludes that school leaders must provide supportive and shared leadership structures for teachers in order to ensure a positive school culture and effective professional learning communities that impact school improvement. Leaders in schools must work directly with teachers to create policies and procedures that provide teachers the leadership structure to directly impact school improvement through professional learning community collaborative efforts.

Originality/value

This study builds on the school culture and professional learning communities literature by exploring existent policies and practices in schools as unique cases. Much of the literature calls for specific case studies to identify issues in the implementation of effective practice. This study is important to the community as specific cases that may inform educational leaders on mechanisms that may be leveraged to ensure successful implementation of policies and procedures outline in school culture and professional learning community literature.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 10 September 2021

Matt Hensley

The purpose of this study was to investigate the #SSChat community's recognition of cohesion and shared learning goals within the #SSChat community. Specifically, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate the #SSChat community's recognition of cohesion and shared learning goals within the #SSChat community. Specifically, the author sought to gauge the #SSChat community's “sense of community (SOC) ” (e.g. measuring participants' perceptions of membership, influence, fulfillment of needs and a shared emotional connection related to the community) and sustainability (e.g. information contribution and consumption, self-disclosure and intention to leave the community). Additionally, the author aimed to examine “SOC” as a construct supporting the #SSChat community's sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employed a quantitative survey research design that was guided by McMillan and Chavis' (1986) SOC theoretical framework. The instrument included two reliable and valid surveys. Descriptive and inferential statics were used to investigate the three research questions.

Findings

Findings from this study highlight refinement and reinforcement areas framed using McMillan and Chavis' (1986) SOC theoretical framework to support the continued development and growth of the #SSChat as virtual learning community for social studies education professionals.

Originality/value

There is a dearth of research that investigates the dynamic underpinnings and foundations of informal virtual learning communities for social studies educators and whether they are sustainable. While this study is not the first to investigate the relationship between sustainability and SOC, it does extend previous research by evaluating the specific SOC tenets and their individual relationships to sustainability.

Details

Social Studies Research and Practice, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1933-5415

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Bonnie Slade

This paper aims to examine the professional learning of rural police officers.

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925

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the professional learning of rural police officers.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative case study involved interviews and focus groups with 34 police officers in Northern Scotland. The interviews and focus groups were transcribed and analysed, drawing on practice‐based and sociomaterial learning theories, by members of the research team.

Findings

The two key skills for effective rural policing were mobilising available human and material resources in the moment, and learning how to police and live in a rural community. The professional learning of rural police is spatial, emergent, embodied and deeply enmeshed in specificities, and is developed through interactions between human and non‐human actors.

Practical implications

This paper argues that, in order to understand professional learning, it is imperative to examine how work practices are fully entangled in social and material relations.

Originality/value

Applying sociomaterial approaches to issues of professional learning can illuminate previously obscured actors and gives a fuller picture of how professional practice is developed, sustained and modified. Learning is conceived as attuning to available knowledge resources and drawing on the knowledge strategies that are the most productive in the moment. The issues raised in this paper pertain to other professionals working in rural areas, and more generally to the theoretical framing of professional practice.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

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Book part
Publication date: 21 November 2015

Michal Golan and Rivka Reichenberg

The MOFET Institution, which began under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, is Israel’s national center for research and professional development on teacher…

Abstract

The MOFET Institution, which began under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, is Israel’s national center for research and professional development on teacher education. It consists of three communities: (1) the Writing Channel; (2) the Study Channel; and (3) the Research Channel. MOFET additionally has an Academic Committee that assists the aforementioned communities in their deliberations if needed. Although the MOFET Institute deals with multiple and sometimes conflicting agendas (i.e., Ministry of Education, participating teacher education colleges, the institute’s own goals), it remains one of the most unique and powerful ways to nationally address teacher education research and dissemination and the development of teacher educators in the world.

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Alma Harris

The purpose of this paper is to outline how collective capacity building is supporting system‐wide reform in one country. It seeks to outline the way in which professional

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2465

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline how collective capacity building is supporting system‐wide reform in one country. It seeks to outline the way in which professional learning communities within, between and across schools are creating an infrastructure for improving professional practice and raising standards.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is both descriptive and analytical. It draws on the international literature pertaining to system‐wide reform and the empirical evidence concerning professional learning.

Findings

The paper highlights some of the challenges in building the collective capacity for change throughout an entire system and reflects on progress to date. The paper concludes by arguing that despite the compelling case for collective capacity building, the real test is to make it happen.

Research limitations/implications

The professional learning communities (PLC) programme in Wales is gathering evidence about impact but as the programme is just completing its first year of implementation these findings are not yet available.

Originality/value

This paper adds to prior analyses and discussion of collective capacity building by providing a system‐wide perspective.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 49 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2019

Roos Van Gasse, Marije Lesterhuis, San Verhavert, Renske Bouwer, Jan Vanhoof, Peter Van Petegem and Sven De Maeyer

The Flemish Examination Centre designed an intervention to establish a professional learning community on the topic of writing assessment. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

The Flemish Examination Centre designed an intervention to establish a professional learning community on the topic of writing assessment. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of this intervention and explain how this intervention succeeded in establishing a professional learning community.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed method design was used to answer the research questions. Quantitative analysis of comparative judgement data provided insight into the effects of the intervention. More specifically was analysed whether examiners judged more in line after the intervention. Qualitative analysis of the conversations within the intervention served to examine how interdependent examiners behaved in the professionalisation exercises and to gain insight into how a professional learning community was established.

Findings

The analysis showed that the intervention of the Flemish Examination Centre facilitated the formation of a professional learning community. This was visible in the quantitative analysis. The qualitative analysis showed that highly interdependent activities were helpful in establishing the professional learning community.

Practical implications

This study shows that interactions of high interdependence are beneficial to facilitate professional learning communities.

Originality/value

This study shows that the assessment data can guide a well-thought out design of interventions to establish professional learning communities among assessors. Assessment data can be a guidance for supportive group constellations and discussions to improve assessment practices. The key in this regard lies in the level of interdependence that is created among participants.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 6 April 2018

Abstract

Details

Teacher Leadership in Professional Development Schools
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-404-2

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