Building bridges: enhancing mentoring skills, knowledge and practice through an online course

POUNTNEY, Richard and GRASMEDER, Alison (2018). Building bridges: enhancing mentoring skills, knowledge and practice through an online course. CollectivEd, 3, 50-56.

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This paper outlines the rationale for an open online course for teachers, Enhance your Mentoring Skills, aimed at addressing the UK National Mentor Standards (2016), and describes how this was put into practice. The professional needs of school-based mentors and how these were met in the design for learning are examined alongside a consideration of the efficacy of the curriculum and associated pedagogy of the course. Drawing on the evaluations of 73 teachers who have completed the course in 2017 and their contributions to individual and communal learning activities the paper develops an impression of mentoring practice that represents mentors’ theories-in-use. Teachers’ accounts of the value of the course suggest considerable effect on their levels of confidence and some evidence of impact on their mentoring practice. However, findings also indicate that participants’ understandings of their mentoring role lacks a clearly defined model for mentoring relationships and that mentors welcome greater opportunity to reflect on their practice and to share this with others discursively. The paper discusses the extent to which the course offers a bridge between mentors’ wishes and intentions and how they are realised in practice. Recommendations for future iterations of the course are made, with proposals to develop this case study further, as an instrumental form of theory building (Stake, 1995), in order to better understand how mentors understand and develop their practice.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Working Papers series
Uncontrolled Keywords: mentoring, teacher education, professional development, online
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Institute of Education
Page Range: 50-56
Depositing User: Richard Pountney
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2018 09:28
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 14:16

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