Paper Session Joint Session NW 01 with NW 18
Objective/Research Questions `
The hierarchical multi- relational interactions and ideas mediated in schools are shown to perpetuate and give status to particular practices (Hargreaves & Fullan, 2012). Numerous mentoring studies attest to this premise, confirming the dominance of practices that focus on the novice teachers’ socio-emotional needs and socialisation into the profession (e.g.Feiman-Nemser, 2012). Such foci positively impacts on teacher retention but does not address the learning needs of noviciates in the current educational European and global context (Ingersoll & Strong, 2011). A context in which the exponential social, technological and cultural changes makes teachers’ work more complex and societal expectations more demanding (Zuljan & Pozarnik, 2014). In this regard mentoring to support the transition from preservice teacher to teacher becomes important, making timely the examination of how mentors build and adapt mentoring expertise to support novice teachers’ learning in ways that meet these complex demands.
While the extant literature shows that mentoring is central to the development of new teacher, both small and large scale studies (Bullough, 2012; Strong, 2009) indicate fewer investigations have examined what mentors learn about themselves, their intentions and practice. In this two-year research project these concerns are addressed. Investigated was the purpose, intentions and practices of two experienced and capable teacher/mentors as they engaged in an inquiry to build mentoring expertise. Data sources were interrogated to determine:
- What preconceptions about mentoring teachers bring to their role as mentors
- How acquired knowledge and skills were reflected in mentors’ expressed intentions and in their professional conversations with mentees
- How the school organisations in which mentoring took place related to mentors’ learning.
The objective was to gain insight into mentors’ professional learning and their ability to adapt their practice to the situation in hand.
The work of teachers and mentors within the school system is conceptualised by numerous studies as complex (e.g. Radford, 2006). Such complexity is characterised by interactions that are non-linear and multi-layered (Haggis, 2008) and it is within these individual multifaceted and relational schools that the work of mentors is nested. Some studies afford evidence of the complexities of mentoring that leverage the quality of teachers’ practice (e.g Stanulis & Brondyk, 2013); and shed light on the complex knowledge base that mentors require to effectively support novices teachers (e.g. Achinstein & Davis, 2014). Fundamental to transforming this complex mentoring knowledge base to leverage practice are the professional conversations that occur between the mentor and mentee (Hennissen, Crasborn, Brouwer, Korthagen, & Bergen, 2008; Orland-Barak & Hasin, 2010). Yet little is known about the learning experienced and changes that mentors undergo as a consequence of these conversations and their professional roles.
To provide a framework to think about the learning that occurred for these experienced mentors I draw upon the interaction of key components of teachers’ expertise development: assessment, needs and the context that nests learning (Alexander, Schallert, & Reynolds, 2009). Moreover, I was interested in the balance adopted by mentors between efficiency and adaptive oriented approaches to learning. For example, expected was that a mentor strongly oriented toward efficiency would exhibit “functionally-fixed” behaviours; but be less adaptive in their practice (Ericsson, 1996). In contrast, the mentor oriented toward adaptive expertise would be more likely to expand their ideas and knowledge and be more open to “changing cherished ideas and belief (Bransford, Darling-Hammond, & Page, 2005, p. 49). Further, in order to understand mentor learning we need to understand more about why some mentors transform their practice more than others.
Achinstein, B., & Davis, B. (2014). The subject of mentoring: Towards a knowledge and practice base for content-focused mentoring of new teachers. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnerships in Learning, 22(2), 104-126. 10.1080/13611267.2014.902560 Alexander, P. A., Schallert, D., & Reynolds, R. (2009). What is Learning Anyway? A Topographical Perspective Considered. Educational Psychologist, 44(3), 176-192. Bransford, J., Darling-Hammond, L., & Page, L. (2005). Introduction Preparing teachers for a changing world. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Bullough, R. V. (2012). Mentoring and new teacher induction in the United States: A review and analysis of current practices. Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnerships in Learning, 20(1), 57-74. 10.1080/13611267.2012.645600 Earl, L., & Timperely, H. (2008). Professional Learning Conversations. London: Springer. Ericsson, K. A. (1996). The acquisition of expert performance: An introduction to some of the issues. In K. A. Ericsson (Ed.), The Road to Excellence: The Acquisition of Expert Performance in the Arts and Sciences, Sports, and GamesManwah: NJ:Erlbaum. Feiman-Nemser, S. (2012). Teachers as Learners. Cambridge Massachussetts: Harvard Education Press. Haggis, T. (2008). Knowledge must be contextual: Some possible implications of complexity and dynamic systems theories for education research. In M. Mason (Ed.), Complexity theory and the philosophy of education. Chichester. UK: Wiley-Blackwell. Hargreaves, A., & Fullan, M. (2012). Professional Capital: Transforming Teaching in Every School. New York: Teachers College Press. Hennissen, P., Crasborn, F., Brouwer, N., Korthagen, F., & Bergen, T. (2008). Mapping mentor teachers' roles in mentoring dialogues. Educational Research Review, 3(2), 168-186. Ingersoll, R., & Strong, M. (2011). The Impact of Induction and Mentoring Programs for Beginning Teachers: A Critical Review of the Research. Review of Educational Research, New York. Sage. Langdon, F., J. (2014). Evidence of mentor learning and development: an analysis of New Zealand mentor/mentee professional conversations. Professional Development in Education, 40(1), 36-55. Orland-Barak, L., & Hasin, R. (2010). Exemplary mentors' perspectives towards mentoring across contexts: Lessons form collective case studies. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26, 427-437. Radford, M. (2006). Researching Classrooms: Complexity and chaos. British Educational Research Journal, 32(2), 177-190.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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