2.4 The three theories of mentoring
The three theories of how mentors may support beginner teachers’ learning do not have to be mutually exclusive. Furlong and Maynard (1995) suggest that mentors may alternate between apprenticeship and reflection theories, starting more apprentice-like and moving towards more reflective approaches. This may be seen as particularly appropriate as a mentor inducts a beginner teacher from peripheral to full participation in the community of practice that is a school. Taking the stance of co-inquirer (Smith, 2010) into how practice within all aspects of the mentoring relationship can grow may well offer a good basis for this complex relationship.
Activity 4 Theories into practice
Using the same scenarios as in Activity 3, consider how you might respond if you were strictly following each theoretical position in mentoring. Fill in your ideas in the empty boxes. Some have been done for you to give you some ideas.
|Scenario||Actions that may promote learning by reflection||Actions that may promote learning as apprenticeship||Actions that may promote learning as becoming part of a community|
|1. You are undertaking work in the classroom while the beginner-teacher takes the last lesson of the day. The beginner-teacher sets work that is too easy for the learners, and they start to become disengaged.||Question beginner teacher as to what they felt had happened to lead to the disengagement.||Tell the beginner teacher they need to have more challenging work available in case this happens again and where you look to find that work.||Set up an observation for the beginner teacher of how another teacher who is known for their expertise in assessing prior knowledge so that the work is better aligned to what the students need.|
|2. The beginner teacher decides to try a new approach to group work, which results in disruption in the lesson; you feel you need to intervene to prevent further disruption.||Take over the organisation and settling of the groups so that the beginner-teacher can see how it is done then tell the class that they will lead the rest of the lesson.|
|3. A beginner-teacher shares some learner work which he/she is particularly pleased with, but you feel the beginner-teacher has not taken into account the prior learning of the class.||Ask the beginner teacher how they will know that the class are ready to use these ideas in their class.|