Mentoring and Teachers: The Implications of Reconceptualising Mentoring

By Judith MacCallum.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Mentoring is an old idea that is being hailed as an important strategy for teacher professional development. But how is mentoring conceptualised and implemented in this context? Conceptualisations of mentoring range from the traditional view of an expert-novice relationship to more recent conceptualisations of mentoring as a developmental partnership or shared adventure. However, the way that mentoring is conceptualised impacts on all facets of the implementation of mentoring. In particular, it influences the way the roles of mentor and mentoree are understood, how participants come to engage in mentoring, and how they are prepared and supported. This paper examines different conceptualisations of mentoring and their appropriateness for the professional development of educators. It then explores the implications of adopting a partnership view of the mentoring relationship for developing and implementing mentoring as a professional development strategy. Issues addressed include the language used, the context in which the mentoring takes place, the selection process, the preparation for participation in mentoring, the support available to participants and the likely outcomes of a mentoring partnership.

Keywords: Mentoring, Teacher Development

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp.133-140. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 517.417KB).

Dr. Judith MacCallum

Senior Lecturer in Educational Psychology, School of Education, Murdoch University, Perth, WA, Australia

Judith's teaching and research interests revolve around collaborative learning and teaching, classroom practices and motivational change, mentoring and teacher development. She is a leader in research and development of mentoring in Australia. Her work encompasses development of theory on mentoring, preparation of mentors and program coordinators, case studies of mentoring and evaluation of mentoring programs, and has been the Project Director of several large national research projects concerning mentoring. She has worked in schools as a secondary teacher in three Australian states and in universities as a teacher educator and researcher. Judith was a member of the steering committee to establish a national mentoring association in Australia in 2000 and is currently the convenor of the group. She provides advice to a wide range of organisations about mentoring.

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