3 Professional learning for mentor growth
Lofthouse (2018) proposed a practice development model for individual professional learning through mentoring. The professional learning through mentoring shown in the model is complex and interrelated as both the mentor and beginner teacher develop their practice together. Mentoring is often experienced as activity, sometimes highly productive, sometimes rather repetitive and always undertaken in the midst of other professional or training activity.
On the left-hand side of the model are the enablers of professional learning, including institutional and interpersonal cultural conditions and individual and intrapersonal personal attributes. At the centre is mentoring. The right-hand side of the model shows the practices that both mentor and beginner teacher should be willing and able to engage in to promote professional learning. The shape and arrows on the model represent the cumulative effects of learning and growth, which sustain and renew opportunities for professional learning through mentoring cycles, with the potential that each cycle allows for further practice development.
Activity 5 Professional learning
Look closely at Lofthouse’s professional development model in Figure 3. Note particular examples of the theoretical concepts that may be evident in the mentor’s and beginner teachers practice or development. Some examples have been added as a start for you.
|Theoretical concept||… in the mentor’s practice/ and or development||… in the beginner teacher’s practice/and or development|
|A growing and changing relationship||Developing critical friends|
|Support and challenge||Problem solving and innovating|
|Learning by reflection||Explaining practice and thinking to others|
|Learning through apprenticeship||Understanding and engaging with others|
|Learning as acquiring a professional identity within a community of practice||Developing dialogic thinking and self-regulation|
Professional learning will always involve aspects of research, whether that means engaging with others’ learning from research, engaging in research yourself, or both.