Where do I belong? Creation of a Community of Practice by Participation in Tutor-Mentoring Pre-Undergraduate Students

By Irene Maitland.

Published by The Learner Collection

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

During research for a PhD case study on peer tutor-mentoring undertaken at Monash South Africa I observed that tutor-mentors, while engaging in the social enterprise of tutoring and mentoring foundation year mathemeatics students, developed a strong group and personal identity specific to their unique experiences as tutor-mentors. My observation of tutor-mentor - student interactions during formal class sessions, and informal conversations with the tutor-mentors, brought about a realisation that there was a common purpose amongst them of academically and psychosocially supporting, helping and guiding foundation year mathematics students. I suggest, therefore, that the consequential formation of a mathematics tutor-mentor community of practice is in accordance with Wenger’s four components of learning: that of identifying with a specific community of mathematics tutor-mentors through the development of personal relationships within that community, which gives meaning to the practice of tutor-mentoring as a common social enterprise within the Monash South Africa Foundation tutor-mentor programme.

Keywords: Tutor-Mentor, Community, Practice, Meaning, Identity, Participation

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 10, pp.163-168. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 497.361KB).

Irene Maitland

Tutor-Mentor Programme Leader, Foundation Programme Monash South Africa, Monash University, South Africa

I have been in education for the past 25 years and have worked in a variety of contexts: senior school, grades 10 - 12 (Geography; English); upgrading of teachers (matriculation Geography and English); and for the past 7 years teaching geography and environmental science to foundation year students at Monsah South Africa; devising and coordinating a tutor-mentoring programme for foundation year students.

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