01 SES 01 A, Mentoring
According to Langdon (2007) many countries have induction programmes for novice teachers. Induction to a profession is not just a programme, but a phase in teachers’ careers with different needs and possibilities. Norway has no induction programme, but from autumn 2010 policy documents recommend that novice teachers should have a mentor. In order to meet these challenges Norwegian political authorities have granted relatively great sums of money into development of mentor education. Since the 1980’s an increasing number of mentors have been educated. Almost every teacher education institution offers studies in mentoring (Kroksmark & Åberg, 2007).
Mentor education differs from other education beyond qualification for teachers. Mentor education is not directly related to the classroom, but to school development, which again is supposed to contribute to improvement of pupils’ learning (Helleve & Langørgen, 2010). Actually, a new profession is developing inside the profession.Norwegian authorities have so far been concerned with education of mentors and less with mentors and newly qualified teachers’ conditions in schools. Through mentor education teachers are qualified as supporters, primarily for novice teachers’ professional development, but also for experienced teachers learning. They are supposed to have a meta-perspective on their own organisation. According to the Department of Education, mentors should develop general competences in critical reflection on mentoring as contribution to innovation and improvement of schools as learning organisations (KD, 2010, p. 4).
Teachers who choose to take mentor education do this on top of full-time jobs as teachers. They will neither be extra paid for the job as a mentor, nor have it as part of their work-load. Research shows that the decision of becoming a mentor mainly is the teacher’s own and not an idea or a wish from the leadership of the school. In some cases the principle even argues against the teacher’s decision concerning participation (Helleve & Langørgen, 2012). Based on these facts the paper raises some important questions: Why should an experienced teacher want to be educated as a mentor? What are these teachers’ experiences as novice teachers? What kind of critical incidents have occurred to them? What has been important to them as teachers and colleagues? This lead to the research question of the paper:
What characterizes teachers who want to become mentors?
Helleve, I & Langørgen K. (2010). Veilederutdanning. I: K. Smith & M. Ulvik (Red.). Veiledning av nye lærere. Oslo. Universitetsforlaget. Helleve, I. & Langørgen, K. (2012). Utdannet til veileder – utdannet til hva? Uniped, 35(4), 1- 12. Kelchtermans, G & Ballet, K. (2002). The micropolitics of teacher induction. A narrative- graphical study on teacher socialization. Teaching and Teacher Education 18, 105-120. Kroksmark, T. & Åberg, K. (2007). Veiledning i pedagogisk arbeid. Oslo. Fagbokforlaget. Kunnskapsdepartementet (2010). Veiledning av nyutdannede lærere og veilederutdanning. Brev fra Kunnskapsdepartementet 22.06. 2010 HYPERLINK "http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/kd/dok/andre/brev/utvalgte_brev/2010/Veiledning-av-nyutdannede-larere-og-veilederutdanning-.html?id=609178" http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dep/kd/dok/andre/brev/utvalgte_brev/2010/Veiledning-av-nyutdannede-larere-og-veilederutdanning-.html?id=609178
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