01 SES 11 A, Mentoring of New Teachers in the Nordic Countries: Practices of professional learning as ecosystems. Part 1.
Symposium to be continued in 01 SES 12 A
The narrative from Estonia takes especially the view of resilience on mentoring practices. The birth of the induction year programme in Estonia was the result of a combined effort of many specialists and institutions. A preliminary project was carried out in the academic year 2002/2003. In 2003/2004 an expert group of educators and researchers from the Tallinn and Tartu University analyzed the results of the project, improved the implementation model and made preparations for implementation of the induction year programme on the national level. In 2004, the induction year for newly qualified teachers was implemented nationwide. Universities and schools collaborated in implementing the induction year programme. Universities offered mentor training for mentors and group mentoring sessions during school holidays for the beginning teachers. At the school level, the principal's role was to appoint the mentor and create suitable conditions for mentoring. Mentors role was to support beginning teacher professional growth and socialization with the organization. The model seemed to find a meaningful niche among the different stakeholders, applying the principle of interdependence. Concurrently with the implementation of induction year programme, a monitoring system of the program was implemented. Based on the data collected during the programme implementation and development 2 doctoral dissertations as well several articles were published (e.g. references). In The European Commission handbook for policymakers (2010), the Estonian induction year model was regarded as one of the best practices in Europe. Although there are a lot of success stories the initial inspiration has been fading. In Estonia, the universities have been important stakeholders and developers of the programme and mentoring which might be the reason that the schools did not feel a sense of ownership and responsibility to develop mentoring. In 2012, the special in-service course for school leaders how to create collaborative learning environment and support mentoring in school was created. In 2016, the NGO the School for New Teachers was established by the alumni of the program Teach First. They are aiming to establish the learning network of school leaders who are committed to constant improvement of their people-related practices and processes – to make schools better spaces for growth for all. Another idea they propose is to establish a well-educated mentor’s community from where schools can hire mentors. So the search for a sustainable model of mentoring will continue.
for policymakers (2010) European Commission Staff Working Document http://ec.europa.eu/assets/eac/education/policy/school/doc/handbook0410_en.pdf Eisenschmidt, E., Poom-Valickis, K., Oder, T. (2008). Supporting Novice Teachers’ Professional Development: Monitoring the Induction Year Experience in Estonia. In: Mikk, J., Veisson, M.,Luik, P. (Ed.). Reforms and innovations in Estonian education (77−92). Peter Lang Publishers House. Eisenschmidt, E., Oder, T., & Reiska, E. (2013). The induction program–teachers’ experience after five years of practice. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 21(3), 241-257. Löfström, E., & Eisenschmidt, E. (2009). Novice teachers' perspectives on mentoring: The case of the Estonian induction year. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(5), 681-689. Poom-Valickis, K. (2014). Novice teachers’ professional development during the induction year. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 112, 764-774. Poom-Valickis, K., & Mathews, S. (2013). Reflecting others and own practice: an analysis of novice teachers’ reflection skills. Reflective Practice, 14(3), 420-434.
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