01 SES 12 A, Practices of Mentoring (Part 1): Practice Architectures of Teacher Induction
Symposium to be continued in 01 SES 13 A
This symposium is the first part of a triple symposium, entitled “Practices of Mentoring”. In part 1, practices of mentoring in Australia, Finland, Norway and Hungary are studied within the theory of practice architectures.Part 2 introduces innovative practices for teacher induction which have been developed in the European PAEDEIA project. In part 3, the focus is shifted to using ICT in mentoring and problematizing the impact of teacher standards on mentoring practices.
The induction of new teachers in and across workplaces is a global challenge (e.g. Meristo & Eisenschmidt 2014; Pennanen, Bristol, Wilkinson & Heikkinen 2015; Ulvik, Smith & Helleve, 2009; Wang, Odell & Schwille, 2008). Mentoring is commonly practised to assist early career teachers to situate themselves within the school community and the demands of their new position in the induction phase. However, there are different understandings about what mentoring is. It has been claimed that mentoring is ‘a practice which is ill-defined, poorly conceptualized and weakly theorized’; the term is used differently in different settings and for different purposes (Tynjälä & Heikkinen, 2011). This confusion is not so much about a lack of theories but rather about a plurality of theories. Mentoring has been described, for example, in psychological terms, within the traditions of social psychology, from the theoretical views of business management, or human resource development, and from the perspective of social cognitive career theory (Kemmis, Heikkinen, Fransson, Aspfors & Edwards-Groves 2014).
The view adopted in this symposiumis based on understanding mentoring and teacher induction as a social practice. We explore differences between practices of teacher induction by conceptualizing mentoring in terms of atheory of practice architectures (Kemmis & Heikkinen, 2012; Kemmis, Heikkinen, Fransson, Aspfors & Edwards-Groves 2014). It is a specific kind of cooperative human activity in which characteristic actions and activities (doings) are comprehensible in terms of relevant ideas in characteristic discourses (sayings), and in which the people and objects involved are distributed in characteristic relationships (relatings). By ‘practice architectures’ we mean the specific cultural-discursive, material-economic and social-political arrangements found in or brought to a site that enable and constrain a practice: arrangements that make the practice possible. According to this theory, practices of mentoring are enabled and constrained by particular practice architectures that, on the one hand, have much in common internationally, but, on the other hand, are bundled with other national or local practices that sometimes make mentoring practices in different countries rather different from each other. The theory of practice architectures thus steers our analyses toward the identification of local conditions that foster the particular kinds of mentoring practices that are in the ascendant in a given society at some particular historical moment.
An understanding about the preconditions that prefigure practices is important whenever educational models are transferred from one cultural context to another as with educational export or when comparative research is undertaken.Although educational policies and practices often assume and aim for universal inclusivity, education is constrained as well as enabled by the particularities of language and culture; time, space and resources; and relationships of power and solidarity. It is these dimensions and the relationships between these dimensions that are the focus of this symposium.
In the first paper, the theoretical framework is introduced. The second presentation is focused on mentoring practices in Finland and Australia.The third paper introduces the Norwegian practices of teacher induction which have been developed in the national network for mentoring. The fourth presentation gives us an overview into Hungarian mentoring practices.
Kemmis, S. and Heikkinen, H. L. T (2012). Practice architectures and teacher induction. In H. L. T. Heikkinen, H, Jokinen and P. Tynjälä (Eds.), Peer-group mentoring for teacher development. London: Routledge. Kemmis, S., Heikkinen, H., Aspfors, J., Fransson, G. & Edwards-Groves, C. (2014). Mentoring as Contested Practice: Support, Supervision and Collaborative Self-development. Teaching and Teacher Education 43, 154-164. Meristo, M. & Eisenschmidt, E. (2014). Novice teachers’ perceptions of school climate and self-efficacy. International Journal of Educational Research 1 (67),1–10. Pennanen, M., Bristol, L., Wilkinson, J. & Heikkinen, H. 2015.What is “good” mentoring? Understanding mentoring practices of teacher induction through case studies of Finland and Australia. Pedagogy, Culture and Society. (In press.) Tynjälä, P. & Heikkinen, H. L. T (2011). Beginning teachers’ transition from pre-service education to working life. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft, 14(1), 11–34. Ulvik, M., Smith, K. & Helleve, I. (2009). Novice in secondary school – the coin has two sides. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(6), 835–842. Wang, J., Odell, S. & Schwille, S. (2008). Effects of teacher induction on beginning teachers’ teaching. Journal of Teacher Education, 59(2), 132–152.
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