01 SES 02 B, Aspects of Mentoring
In Japan the induction program, ‘Shoninsha-kenshu’ is a kind of the formal mentoring program, but because all beginning teachers must take this program, the education board usually place the experienced teachers as mentors with little regard for characteristics of both mentors and mentees. Mentors usually have charge of four beginning teachers in two schools, so that the mentoring relationship is not always effective and successful. However, the effectiveness of mentoring depends on mentoring relationship and the nature of the mentor. According to the review on mentoring beginning teachers by Hobson et al.(2009), successful factors on mentoring related to (i) contextual support for mentoring;(ii) mentor selection and pairing;(iii)mentoring strategies; and (iv) mentor preparation. In Japan there are few mentor programs and each education board has no guideline for mentor selection and pairing. Most mentors also are not trained. This situation appears to be a critical problem in mentoring beginning teachers in many countries.
Mentoring is critical for the teacher’s professional training. From the viewpoint of teacher’s knowledge, Furlong et al.(1988) proposed the four levels of professional training; Level(a) Direct practice, (b) Indirect practice, (c) Practical principles, (d) Disciplinary theory, which means it is necessary to move from the notion of supervision in school to the notion of mentoring(Maynard & Furlong, 1993). In addition, in terms of the role of the mentor it is necessary to begin with the mentees’ perspective.
As mentioned above, in order to make the Japanese induction program as mentoring effective, we should introduce the viewpoint of mentoring relationship, the mentees’ perspective into the mentoring evaluation, and the benefits of mentors. The effectiveness of mentoring is thought to be influenced by both mentor’s competencies and the mentoring relationship, which correlate to each other. This study investigates what do mentors learn from mentoring process in Japanese induction program to explore the relationship among the mentoring effectiveness, the mentoring relationship, and mentor’s competencies. In terms of the mentoring relationship, Pitton(2006) pointed out a dialogue process between mentor and mentee is important to establish the effective mentoring relationship. So this study used the expectations for the mentee and the mentor as the indicator of mentoring relationship. For mentor’s competencies, Podsen et al.(2000) proposed eight mentor’s competencies; (i)understanding the mentor role, (ii) promoting collaborative learning, (iii)nurturing the novice,(iv)developing your performance -coaching skills, (v)modeling and coaching effective teaching strategies, (vi)modeling and coaching effective classroom management standards, (vii)displaying sensitivity to individual differences,(viii)shaping professional relationships. In this study we used these competencies as mentoring strategies/skills.
In order to make the Japanese induction program effective, we pose the research questions as follow; (1)How do mentees evaluate their mentor’s competencies?, (2) How does the mentoring relationship influence on the mentor’s competencies evaluation by the mentee?, (3) What can the mentor and the mentee learn about through the induction program? , and (4) Does the mentoring relationship correlate to what is learned by the mentor and the mentee? In this study we focus on what can the mentor learn from mentoring process, so the research questions of this study are (1) What can the mentor learn about through the induction program? , and (4) Does the mentoring relationship correlate to what is learned by the mentor?, because we presented our findings of other research questions at ECER2011.
Furlong,VJ.,Hirst,PH.,Pocklington,K., Miles,S.(1988) Initial Teacher Training and the Role of the School, Buckingham: Open University Press. Maynard,T., Furlong,J.(1993) Learning to Teach and Models of Mentoring in McIntyre,D. et al.(ed.) Mentoring: Perspectives on School-based Teacher Education, London: Kogan Page. Hobson,A.J., Ashby,P., Malderez,A., Tomlinson,P.D.(2009) Mentoring beginning teachers: What we know and what we don't. Teaching and Teacher Education 25, 207-216 Pitton,D.E.(2006) Mentoring Novice Teachers: Fostering a Dialogue Process 2nd ed. Corwin Press. Podsen,I.J., Denmark,V.M.(2000) Coaching & Mentoring First-Year & Student Teachers. EYE ON EDUCATION.
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