01 SES 10 A, Symposium: Research on Practices of Teacher Induction, Part 1
In Finland, a very special kind of practice has been emerged to support new teachers, based on peer-group mentoring. This model is being disseminated through a nation-wide consortium in Finland. The National Network for Teacher Induction “Osaava Verme” involves all the teacher education departments of universities and vocational teacher education colleges. Peer-group mentoring model reflects the Finnish way of educational reform with a high level of teacher autonomy (Sahlberg 2011). Opposite to many of the mentoring programmes internationally, no elements of assessment, standardisation or control are involved. The peer mentoring groups are managed by mentor teachers who are trained by teacher education institutions. This presentation is focused on experiences of mentor training. The study is based on an online questionnaire addressed to mentors in the beginning and the end of their training period (2010-11). The data shows that peer group mentoring strengthens the agency of young teachers and supports their professional identity as autonomous teachers. Working in a peer mentoring group offers opportunities for both new and experienced teachers to learn together in a supportive environment that promotes time for collaboration and reﬂection. (Heikkinen, Jokinen &Tynjälä, 2008; 2010; 2012 in press).
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