01 SES 12 A, Practices of Mentoring (Part 1): Practice Architectures of Teacher Induction
Symposium to be continued in 01 SES 13 A
The second presentation applies the theoretical perspectives of theory of practice architectures in a comparative study on Australian and Finnish mentoring practices. Mentoring is a practice widely utilized to support new teachers in their early career and the range of different mentoring practices is notable. Every practice is sited in locally formed arrangements and these arrangements shape the practice in certain way. To understand this distinctiveness of practices, this paper conceptualizes mentoring as a social practice, a coherent and complex form of socially established co-operative human activity which is constituted in historical and social context that gives structure and meaning to what people do. In this presentation, we will utilize the theory of practice architectures to illustrate the social nature of mentoring practice. Presentation examines how particular kinds of practice arrangements; in other words, practice architectures (Kemmis et al. 2014) prefigure distinctively different purposes, understandings and manifestations of mentoring. The study compared two cases of education sites, Finland and New South Wales, Australia. These sites where chosen because they represent different and somewhat contrary approaches for mentoring and therefore produce rich data for comparative study. The findings suggest that mentoring practices are shaped by their local arrangements, which means the locally formed prefiguring arrangements and architectures of a specific site. In the light of the global education reform movement (GERM; Sahlberg, 2011), the notion of mentoring as an local practice has implications for policy makers and the ways in which policies (geared at promoting teachers’ professional development and sustaining teacher capacity) are evaluated and implemented. Given the social and ontological nature of mentoring as a practice, mentoring must be recognised as a localised response to teacher professional development, rather than a unified model to be homogenously applied.
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.)
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