Building Mentoring Capacities in Experienced Teachers

By Denise Beutel and Rebecca Spooner-Lane.

Published by The Learner Collection

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

While teacher education equips beginning teachers with critical knowledge and skills about teaching and fosters an understanding of learning in and from teaching some of the most critical elements of teaching are only learned in the workplace when beginning teachers commence their professional teaching careers. This transition to professional practice may be facilitated by mentoring from a more experienced teacher. Expert mentoring assists beginning teachers to build their teaching capacities more quickly and also lays the foundation for innovative professional practice. However, the presence of a mentor alone is not sufficient with the success of mentoring reliant on the skills and knowledge of mentors. Mentoring relationships are most effective when mentors are trained for their roles. While mentor preparation is the single most important factor in contributing to mentoring success, few teachers receive formal training to prepare them adequately for mentoring roles. The purpose of this paper is to report on the implementation of a mentoring development program designed to build mentoring capacities in experienced teachers. The program was trialled in a school in rural Australia. A range of qualitative data was collected from participants over the duration of the mentoring program and follow up data collected six months subsequent to the conclusion of the program.

Keywords: Mentoring, Beginning Teachers, Mentor Training, Mentor Preparation

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp.351-360. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.150MB).

Dr. Denise Beutel

Lecturer, Faculty of Education, School of Learning and Professional Studies, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Denise Beutel is a lecturer in education at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. Her research interests are teacher education, mentoring, teacher induction and middle years of schooling. Prior to commencing at QUT, Denise was a teacher with over twenty years experience teaching in secondary schools. Her doctoral studies were completed in 2006 and her thesis, “Teachers Understandings of Pedagogic Connectedness” interrogated the nature of teacher-student engagements in the middle years of schooling.

Dr. Rebecca Spooner-Lane

Lecturer, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Rebecca Spooner-Lane is a lecturer in the School of Learning and Professional Studies at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. Rebecca is a psychologist whose research interests include professional development among preservice and beginning teachers and early career academics, mentoring, and burnout.

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