01 SES 07 A, Sustainable Ecosystems of Mentoring for Newly Qualified Teachers
This symposium is based on the work of Nordic network of teacher educators, researchers and representatives of teacher organizations in Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. This cross-sectoral network was first launched in 2004 and has operated ever since, gradually developing and deforming. The network is a platform for changing experiences, doing empirical comparative research and developing collaboration between trade unions of education and researchers. The network has carried out development projects and comparative studies, published through a number of peer-reviewed books and articles.
The newest project of the network, ‘Nordic Teacher Induction: Sustainable Ecosystems of Mentoring for Newly Qualified Teachers (2020-24) is funded by Nordplus. This symposium builds on the network's latest product; an anthology on mentoring practices, entitled ‘New Teachers in Nordic Countries: Ecologies of Induction and Mentoring’ (Olsen, Bjerkholt & Heikkinen 2020). The book summarizes the historical development of mentoring in the participating countries and reviews the current state of mentoring. In this symposium, we (1.) present a theoretical perspective on practices of new teacher induction and mentoring based on the idea of ‘ecosystems of practices’ (2.) explore different mentoring practices in the Nordic counties, and (3.) present the results of comparative research and development work of the network.
The symposium focuses on analysing how mentoring can find its ‘ecological niche’ (or not) in the respective educational ecosystems. Mentoring can be understood as a kind of ecosystem within a wider and more inclusive education ecosystem. In this ecosystem, practices relate with one another in the same way as living organisms in nature. Thus, concepts derived from ecology can be applied, with given limitations, to the study of mentoring practices. However, as Anthony Giddens (1979) notes, we must also keep in mind an ontological difference between natural systems and human social systems; human social systems are reflexive systems, capable of self-organization through human reason and communication, whereas other natural systems operate merely through homeostatic causal loops (mechanical systems) or organic self-regulation (autopoietic systems).
In this symposium, we introduce some of the ecological principles that were first introduced by the eco-philosopher Fritjof Capra (2005) and applied to practice theory by Stephen Kemmis and Rebecca Mutton (2011). This approach was first introduced to research on mentoring by Stephen Kemmis and Hannu Heikkinen (2012). One of the aims of this symposium is to further develop this approach by examining the Nordic-Baltic mentoring practices in the light of the ecological principles. One of the key findings is that we have discovered great diversity within and between the Nordic ecosystems of mentoring. In this symposium we will discuss whether this means that national programs are more influenced by political and economic interests than academic and scientific evidence.
The case of Iceland is chosen as an example of mentoring development. Iceland seems to have developed a unique mentoring ecosystem rather quickly. It is interesting to know to what extent other social and political ecosystems within the society in Iceland have contributed to its development and what is the impact of the enhanced international interaction with other Nordic mentoring ecosystems.
The symposium will be conducted in such a way that it encourages participants to actively participate and discuss. Therefore, the presentations are kept quite short and time is set aside for general discussion. At the end of the symposium, there will also be time to discuss the EERA Network 1 project, which aims to create a European network for research and development in mentoring and induction, integrated in the work of EERA Network 1.
Barnett, R., & Jackson, N. (2019). Ecologies for Learning and Practice: Emerging Ideas, Sightings and Possibilities. Milton Park: Routledge. Capra, F. & Jakobsen, (2017). A Conceptual Framework for Ecological Economics Based on Systemic Principles of Life. International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 44, No. 6, pp. 831-844. http://www.fritjofcapra.net/a-conceptual-framework-for-ecological-economics-based-on-systemic-principles-of-life/ Capra, F. (2005) “Speaking Nature's Language: Principles for Sustainability”. In M. K. Stone and Z. Barlow. (Eds.) Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World (pp. 18–29). San Francisco, CA:Sierra Club Books. Godfrey, D., & Brown, C. (Eds.) (2019). An Ecosystem for Research-Engaged Schools: Reforming Education Through Research. Milton Park: Routledge. Kemmis, S. & Heikkinen, H. (2012). Future perspectives: Peer-Group Mentoring and international practices for teacher development. In: H. Heikkinen, H. Jokinen & P. Tynjälä (Eds.) Peer-Group Mentoring for Teacher Development. Milton Park: Routledge, 144-170. Kemmis, S., Edwards-Groves, C., Wilkinson, J., & Hardy, I. (2012). Ecologies of practices. In P. Hager, A. Lee, & A. Reich (Eds.), Learning and practice. Singapore: Springer. Moore, J. (1993). Predators and prey: A new ecology of competition. Harward Business Review, May-June 1993, 75 - 86. Olsen, K. N., Bjerkholt, E. & Heikkinen, H. (Eds.) 2020. New Teachers in Nordic Countries: Ecologies of Induction and Mentoring. Damm Academisk. Oslo: Kappelen Damm Akademisk.
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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