10 SES 12 B, The Roles of School-based Mentors in Initial Teacher Training
The term “school mentor” includes both teachers who guide student teachers and those who guide newly educated teachers. Due to lack of published research there is an excisting knowledge gap on the education of these school mentors. (Aspfors and Fransson, 2015, p. 84). The purpose of this paper is to examine the syllabus of two study programs, examining whether the syllabus in these programmes contain empirical research knowledge on teacher education, and whether knowledge on the role of mentors and school teachers are part of the syllabus. inteernational literature review and mentor education, including research from several countries, concludes that there are large variations in both the organization of, and the content in these education programmes (Aspfors & Fransson, 2015, p. 83). In 2009 the Norwegian government proposed "a mentoring program for all newly educated teachers", and the following year it was made obligatory that school mentors did a training course equivalent to 30 credits. With this the Government aims to coordinate various study programs ensuring that the different forms of guidance and mentoring in each program are in line with each other (Ministry of Education (ME), 2009, 2017, pp. 19-20).
Authorities expect future teachers to include research knowledge in their teacher roles, and have in turn criticized the lack of research orientation in the current teacher education. (ME, 2017). International and Norwegian research on education of school mentors has found that the guidance for newly educated teachers improves their development as professionals. Findings from international research indicate that education of school mentors, in turn can help them give newly educated teachers a deeper understanding of their role, positively influencing their classroom leadership. (Lejonberg and Christophersen, 2015).
Norwegian evaluations of the education of school mentors show that the participants change their understanding of the teacher's role, interpreting their role more towards indirect guidance, increasing their belief that education will affect their practical guidance. (Rambøll, 2016).
Two evaluation reports for the Directorate of Education have looked into the course syllabus for the school mentor and found large variations between the study programs (Rambøll, 2015: 55). The major parts of the syllabus are literature based in line with the so-called "action and reflection model" developed in the 1970s (Rambøll, 2016: 64). However, research suggests that application of this model does not always produce desired results (Skagen, 2016).
“The action and reflection”- strategy on mentoring have been criticized for lack of both compliance and professionalism in the guidance of teachers and graduates (Skagen, 2010). Evaluation of guidance education shows that newly employed teachers who receive guidance, do not cope better than new employees who do not receive guidance. (Rambøll, 2016). One evaluation found that the guidance increased personal reflection and the experience of exchange, but to a much lesser degree helped in mastering the meeting with students (Dahl et al., 2006). Further research findings indicate that school mentors are uncertain about applying their knowledge to practical mentoring (Ulvik & Sunde, 2013)
On this background increasing emphasis is placed on operational knowledge in teacher education, also in the practice manual of teacher students. A doctoral dissertation found that college teachers who left the students to plan and implement their practical training in teacher education, settled with the students demonstrating "reflection". A research survey of partnerships between schools and colleges / universities in teacher education concluded that "technical skills must be practiced" (Lillejord and Børte, 2014, pp. 11-12; Jensen, 2016). Scandinavian research has documented that student teachers want constructive, practical advice on teaching, not merely guidance on self-evaluation. Newly appointed teachers prioritize guidance on their own class management (Skagen, 2010 and 2010a).
We have searched the Norwegian Educational Journal using the search term "supervisor education" producing 18 hits, "mentoring education" which gave 1 result and "teacher training" that gave 0 hits. None of the articles examined the knowledge content in the course syllabus. We also examined two evaluation reports on guidance education for newly appointed teachers and practice teachers, commissioned by the Ministry of Education (Rambøll 2015, 2016). A search for "mentor education in" Oria "via HiOA gave 503 hits, some of which were written by Nordic writers and signaled the topic "guidance education ". We found relevant studies of the impact of guidance education (Helleve, Danielsen and Smith, 2015). School and mentoring context are regarded as important for mentor education in the following different ways: participants’ workload, newly educated teachers classes, allocation of time and support of mentors by colleagues and principals (Aspfors and Fransson, (2015), pp. 80-81). To these factors we add knowledge of the specific context of teacher education and teaching in schools.We distinguish between an overall, more general context and a more concrete, specific context. We determine the general context as the political and professional background for both international teacher education, and teacher education in Norway, and the specific context as the institutional frameworks and perspectives constitute important factors.. Texts may be characterized by one or both of these contexts. We focus the analysis of the curriculum texts (course syllabus) and are looking for the images of teacher education, the roles of practice teachers and school mentors that is being constructed (Halliday, 1978). The concepts “general context” and “specific context” used in the content analysis are constructed on the basis of existing research knowledge about guidance and mentoring in teacher education. We have applied these concepts to the texts in an introductory attempt to validate an assumption that the restricted context of guidance (teacher education and teaching in schools) were only marginally represented in syllabuses (Hsieh and Shannon, 2005; Fauskanger og Mosvold, 2014). We have studied two course syllabuses in education for school mentors. Both cases include lists where the compulsory sections make up more than 1000 pages, and both programs include participants with experience from guidance in teacher education. One-hundred and fifty pages of the course syllabus literature are chosen by the participants and are not included in this survey. The mandatory part of the syllabus consists of books and excerpts from books.
The main emphasis in course syllabus texts is on a restrained mentor role. Where the school mentor role is the subject, guidance is understood solely as a conversation. Operational knowledge about teaching in schools is difficult to find. The preliminary findings are that the main part of the syllabus literature is interdisciplinary and makes an effort to cover the guidance field, but with a strong emphasis on principles in the action and reflection strategy. The syllabus literature falls within a general cultural context. The literature does not provide any knowledge on scientific empirical research on teacher education and the role of teaching teacher. The curriculum literature contains, with few exceptions, no substantial knowledge on teacher education, nor the practical aspects of the mentor role during practice training. The conclusion is that the dominant part of the curriculum literature falls within a general cultural context, while the specific context – that is research and practical knowledge about teacher education and operational knowledge about guidance or teaching in schools – are only marginally represented. The exception is one book that contains the more specific context of the classroom and practical teaching. However, two of the textbooks do provide knowledge on guidance of both newly educated teachers, and guidance during the training of teacher education students. These two books also deal with teacher education and guidance in general, and include some standards for professional practice. These findings raise the question of which types of knowledge are relevant to a mentor education. There is a lack of knowledge on cultural and contextual contexts in the syllabuses. School mentor training is aimed at both skills and knowledge. On this background, it is unlikely that these course syllabuses contribute sufficiently to the practical knowledge and skills of the school mentors.
Aspfors, J. & Fransson, G. (2015). Research on mentor education for mentors of newly qualified teachers: A qualitative meta-synthesis. Teaching and Teacher Education: An International Journal of Research and Studies, 48, 75-86. doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2015.02.004 BERA. (2014) Research and the teaching profession. Building the capacity for a self-improving education system. Nedlastet 2.6.2016 fra https://www.bera.ac.uk/project/research-and-teacher-education] Fauskanger, J. og R. Mosvold. (2014). Innholdsanalysens muligheter i utdanningsforskning. Norsk Pedagogisk Tidsskrift, 98, (2), ss. 127-139. Halliday. M. A. K. (1978). Language as social semiotic: the social interpretation of language and meaning. London:Edward Arnold Helleve, I., A.G. Danielsen & K. Smith (2015). Does mentor-education make a difference? I H. Tillema et al. (Eds). Mentoring for Learning, pp. 313-332. Sense Publishers Hsieh, Hsiu-Fang, Sarah E. Shannon (2005): Three Approaches to Qualitative Content Analysis.Qualitative Health Research, 15, (9), ss. 1277-1288 https://doi.org/10.1177/1049732305276687 Jensen, A. R. (2016). Veiledningsritualet. En dialektisk studie av formaliserte veiledningssamtaler i lærerutdanningens praksisperiode. Doktoravhandling. Fakultet for humaniora og lærerutdanning. Universitetet i Agder. Lillejord, S. & K. Børte (2014). Partnerskap i lærerutdanningen. En forskningskartlegging – KSU 3/2014. Kunnskapssenter for utdanning:Oslo Lauvås, P. & Handal, G. (2014). Veiledning og praktisk yrkesteori (3. utg.). Oslo: Cappelen Damm akademisk. (kap. 1-15, ca. 338 s.) Mathisen, P. (2015). Mentor: Mentoring i teori og praksis (2. utg.). Bergen: Fagbokforlaget. (hele boka, ca. 250 s.) Ministry of Education, 2008. Læreren. Rollen og utdanningen (St. meld. Nr. 11 (2008-2009) Ministry of Education, 2017. Lærerutdanning 2025. Nasjonal strategi for kvalitet og samarbeid i lærerutdanningene Lejonberg, E., Eyvind Elstad, Knut-Andreas Christophersen, (2015) "Mentor education: challenging mentors’ beliefs about mentoring", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 4 Issue: 2, pp.142-158, https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-10-2014-0034. Permanent link to this document: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-10-2014-0034 Pettersen, R. C. & Løkke, J. A. (2004). Veiledning i praksis: Grunnleggende ferdigheter. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. (kap. 1-15, ca. 219 s.) Rambøll (2015). Evaluering av veiledningsordningen for nyutdannede pedagoger I barnehage og skole. Rambøll. Oslo Rambøll (2016). Veiledning av nyutdannede barnehagelærere og lærere:En evaluering av veiledningsordningen og veilederutdanningen. Rambøll. Oslo. Skagen, K. (2010). Teori og praksisopplæring i lærerkvalifisering. Ss 118-139 i Haug, P. (red). Kvalifisering til læraryrket. Abstrakt forlag:Oslo Skagen, K. (2010a). Hva slags veiledning trenger nyutdannede? Ss. 45-49 i Høihilder, E. K. og Olsen, K.-R. (red). Veiledning av nye lærere i skole og barnehage. Pedlex:Oslo Ulvik, M. & E.Sunde (2013). The impact of mentor education: does mentor education matter? Professional Development in Education, 39(5), 754-770
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