ITTE Computing/Mentoring and Coaching
- 1 Introduction
- 2 What is Mentoring and Coaching?
- 3 The Skills of Mentoring and Coaching
The purpose of this resource is to provide you with the knowledge, skills and understanding you need to support and train school-based mentors with whom you will be working as a university tutor or co-ordinator for a school-based training provider. The processes, procedures and documentation used by each training provider may differ – but the purposes and outcomes will be the same: to enable student-teachers to maximise their potential in becoming effective teachers. These resources are designed to support you in achieving this objective.
Overview of the resource
What is mentoring and coaching?
This provides you with background information about the role of the mentor, the coach and the co-coach (or peer-coach). This should help to clarify your understanding of the interplay between these roles and thus support you when training mentors and coaches.
The skills of mentoring and coaching
This section explores the skills and strategies which mentors and coaches need to employ to carry out their roles. This includes: review and reflection, observation and feedback, target setting and assessment.
Training, developing and supporting mentors and coaches
This section provides you with some ideas and resources for inducting and developing the expertise of mentors with whom you will be working. Training for mentors can be provided through formal, centre-based training sessions or through one-to-one school-based contact. Included in this section are examples of activities and resources which might prove useful in clarifying your role in training and supporting mentors with whom you are working.
Quality assurance of school-based provision
Part of your role in co-ordinating school-based training as an ICT tutor will be to ensure that the quality of the experiences which trainees have is comparable and that assessments are fair, whatever the circumstances. Keeping track of the progress of mentors and the situation in the schools with which you have contact is part of your responsibility. This section explores ways in which this can be achieved.
Background information and literature
Finally, information relating to some of the background literature underpinning the work of the mentor and coach are provided. Inevitably, the information provided is partial and selective. You only have to enter the terms ‘mentoring and coaching’ into a search engine to appreciate the range and diversity of resources, approaches and techniques which are presently available - for not only is mentoring and coaching the province of teacher education, it underpins professional development in the commercial sector.
author: Rik Bennett
What is Mentoring and Coaching?
The definitions for mentoring and coaching vary according to the source consulted. There are considerable vested interests involved in providing mentoring and coaching, particularly for large corporate organisations. As a consequence, there is a lot of research into effective practice in mentoring and coaching – though much of it is not of direct relevance to initial teacher training. However, some of the principles underlying mentoring and coaching are generalisable, regardless of whether the ‘client’ is a middle manager in a multinational company or a trainee ICT teacher in a small urban secondary school.
What is the difference between mentoring and a coaching?
Whilst there is little common agreement,
What is the difference between mentoring and coaching?……there probably can't be a definitive answer to this. The two terms seem to be increasingly linked and are often used interchangeably The Impact Factory (n.d.)
as we shall see, there is a common pattern running through the definitions accessed from various sources.
In terms of mentoring, the common theme seems to be one of career development:
Mentoring is..."off-line help by one person to another in making significant transitions in knowledge, work or thinking"
Clutterbuck & Megginson (2004)
Mentoring: helping to shape an individual’s beliefs and values in a positive way; often a longer term career relationship from someone who has ‘done it before’
Robert Dilts (2006)
Mentoring is the broader of the two concepts. It has a career progress-oriented dimension with psycho-social development functions, incorporating counselling and friendship.
- is an ongoing relationship that can last for a long period of time
- can be more informal and meetings can take place as and when the mentee needs some advice,
- guidance or support
- is more long-term and takes a broader view of the person
- has a focus on career and personal development
The Brefi Group (n.d.)
In terms of teacher education and training, the above suggests that mentoring is a broad, overarching concept which is related to supporting a trainee in making the significant transition from being a student teacher (or trainee) to becoming a newly qualified teacher.
Similarly, for coaching another common theme emerges:
Coaching is…"a process that enables learning and development to occur and thus performance to improve. "
Coaching: helping another person to improve awareness, to set and achieve goals in order to improve a particular behavioural performance.
Robert Dilts (2006)
Coaching tends to be seen as an aspect of mentoring: a more narrow focus relating to an individual’s job-specific tasks, skills or capabilities
- Relationship generally has a set duration
- Short-term (sometimes time-bounded) and focused on specific development areas/issues
- Focus is generally on development/issues at work
- The agenda is focused on achieving specific, immediate goals
- Coaching revolves more around specific development areas/issues
The Brefi Group
Which suggests that coaching is more specifically focused on helping a trainee to develop specific skills and competences.
Mentoring and Coaching for Initial Teacher Training
Roles and responsibilities
The specific titles for those engaged in partnership arrangements for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) vary across providers and sometimes across different programmes in the same institution. However, regardless of the nomenclature, the roles and responsibilities will inevitably be very similar:
Associate Teacher / Student Teacher / Trainee / Mentee / Coachee
Some ITT providers strive to avoid using the term ‘trainee’ as it implies a skills-based vocational approach rather than a collegial model of professional development. As will be seen in the skills section, it can be argued that it is equally as important for those being mentored and coached to receive training in their roles and responsibilities as it is for those providing the mentoring and coaching. As can be seen, this is largely dependent on whether the provider regards the mentoring process as one of apprenticeship or reflective practice (See Background information). To avoid confusion, those who are training to become teachers will be referred to throughout this resource as student-teachers.
Classroom Mentor / Teacher Mentor / Subject Mentor
In effect, this role is fulfilled by the teacher or teachers who work alongside the student-teacher in the classroom on an everyday basis. In some schools or settings, the teacher-mentor will be primarily responsible for mentoring and coaching the student-teacher, with occasional support from the professional mentor or university mentor. However, in some schools, regular formal observations and target setting sessions are provided by the professional mentor in liaison with the teacher mentor. Very rarely now, will the lead for mentoring a student-teacher be taken by the university mentor.
Most schools in partnership with HEI providers will be expected to appoint a mentor to oversee mentoring within the school. In some cases, a lead mentor may have responsibility for co-ordinating mentoring across a cluster of schools. It would be expected that the professional mentor will become involved in supporting the development of mentoring and coaching within the school or cluster.
Dependent on the partnership arrangements under which the provider and schools operate, the university tutor’s role will vary. In some cases, the University Tutor will act in the full capacity as a mentor, observing students’ practice, providing feedback and setting targets. At the other extreme, the university tutor may have little contact with the trainees in a school and will work more with the school-based mentors, checking on general progress, quality assuring, moderating assessments and providing support and training for mentors.
Some providers identify tutors with responsibility for liaising with a cluster of schools. This role differs from that of the University Tutor, for example, some HEI providers devolve responsibility for arranging placements and the quality assurance of the training to Link Tutors.
Most HEI providers have at least one designated member of staff with responsibility for managing and co-ordinating placements and partnership arrangements with school and settings. In some cases, this person will have a full-time commitment to this process whilst in others the tutor concerned will also have a teaching commitment.
Given the definitions for mentor and coach, it could be argued that a subject mentor in a school might well be a coach primarily who occasionally steps into the role of a mentor. Whereas, a co-ordinating or professional mentor (and indeed the University Tutor) is more likely to be, first and foremost, a mentor who occasionally steps into the role of coach.
In 1997, The Centre for the Use of Research and Evidence in Education (CUREE) was sponsored by the DfES, the GTC, The National Strategies, NCSL, the QCA and the TDA to produce a national framework for mentoring and coaching which would be relevant to teacher training. Although the framework’s focus is principally on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of teachers, it has some resonance with Initial Teacher Training (ITT).
A feature of this document is that it aims to clarify the relationship between the coach and the mentor and attempts to overcome some of the issues associated with the corporate or commercial view of coaching, which argues that the skills of the coach are independent of the profession to which it is being applied. In other words, anyone can coach another. The CUREE Framework therefore identifies the roles as ‘mentor’, ‘specialist coach’ and ‘co-coach’. This latter role covers situations where two teachers or trainees may be working alongside and supporting each other.
The CUREE framework (1997) will underpin much of the material in this resource. This is to avoid confusion when outlining terms and also to provide you with a common reference point. At times, however, where the framework lacks specificity or where alternative viewpoints are more relevant, other sources will be used.
- The Brefi Group (n.d.) Executive Coaching and Mentoring. Retrieved on 22/3/09 from http://www.brefigroup.co.uk/coaching/
- CUREE (1997) National Framework for Mentoring and Coaching. Retrieved on 1/5/09 from
- Robert Dilts (2006) A Coaching Perspective: from Guiding to Awakening. Retrieved on 22/3/09 from http://www.ccandc.co.uk/Coach%20to%20Awakener%20-%20R%20Dilts.pdf
- Parsloe, E. (1999) The Manager as Coach and Mentor. London: CIPD
- Clutterbuck, D & Megginson, D, (2004) Techniques for Coaching and Mentoring. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann
- Impact Factory (n.d.) Mentoring Skills. Retrieved on 23/3/09 from http://www.impactfactory.com/p/coaching_mentoring_skills_training/snacks_173-2103-40516.html
- NCSL (2003) Mentoring and Coaching for New Leaders. Nottingham: National Collage for School Leadership. Retrieved on 23/3/09 from http://www.ncsl.org.uk/media-754-20-mentoring-and-coaching-for-new-leaders.pdf
author: Rik Bennett
The Skills of Mentoring and Coaching
So what is involved in being a mentor and/or a specialist coach? If the aim of teacher training is to allow each trainee to maximise their potential as a teacher, how can we ensure that those working with trainees in school are employing effective strategies?
This resource uses the National Framework for Mentoring and Coaching as the basis for its definitions of mentoring and coaching. As can be seen what constitutes mentoring and coaching is the focus for much debate. The National Framework was developed by CUREE and has been accepted by many of the national organisations concerned with education (ie the DfEE, the TDA, the NCSL, the QCA and the National Strategies).
The National Framework identifies the following skills for mentoring:
- relate sensitively to learners and work through agreed processes to build trust and confidence
- model expertise in practice or through conversation
- relate guidance to evidence from practice and research
- broker access to a range of opportunities to address the different goals of the professional learner
- observe, analyse and reflect upon professional practice and make this explicit
- provide information and feedback that enables learning from mistakes and success
- build a learner’s control over their professional learning
- use open questions to raise awareness, explore beliefs, develop plans, understand consequences and explore and commit to solutions
- listen actively:
- accommodating and valuing silence
- concentrating on what’s actually being said
- using affirming body language to signal attention
- replaying what’s been said using some of the same words to reinforce, value and reframe thinking
- relate practice to assessment and accreditation frameworks
Similarly, the framework details the skills needed for effective 'specialist coaching':
- relate sensitively to learners and work through agreed processes to build trust and confidence
- model expertise in practice or through conversation
- facilitate access to research and evidence to support the development of pedagogic practice
- tailor activities in partnership with the professional learner
- observe, analyse and reflect upon the professional learner’s practice and make this explicit
- provide information that enables learning from mistakes and success
- facilitate growing independence in professional learning from the outset
- use open questions to raise awareness, explore beliefs, encourage professional learners to arrive at their own plans, understand consequences and develop solutions
- listen actively:
- accommodating and valuing silence
- concentrating on what’s actually being said
- using affirming body language to signal attention
- replaying what’s been said using the same words to reinforce, value and develop thinking
- establish buffer zones between coaching and other formal relationships
As can be seen, there is considerable overlap between the two sets of skills. These can therefore be sorted into three categories: those specific to mentoring, those specific to specialist coaching and those common to both.
Skills common to mentoring and coaching
- relating sensitively to learners and work through agreed processes to build trust and confidence
- modelling expertise in practice or through conversation
- observing, analysing and reflecting upon professional practice and make this explicit
- providing information that enables learning from mistakes and success
- using open questions to raise awareness, explore beliefs, develop plans and understand consequences
- listening actively:
- accommodating and valuing silence
- concentrating on what’s actually being said
- using affirming body language to signal attention
- replaying what’s been said using some of the same words to reinforce and value thinking
Let’s unpack and explore each of these areas of skill:
Relating sensitively to learners and work through agreed processes to build trust and confidence Much of this centres on the relationship which the mentor or coach forms with the student-teacher (and vice versa). A key issue here is to ensure that the participants are well informed about the ‘agreed processes’. Making sure trainees are briefed about the expectations we have for them on placement, checking they are properly prepared, that the documentation they will be using and the formats they will have for the presentation of evidence in their teaching files and professional files or logs is part of this process. Similarly, it is important that mentors are provided with the information they need to fulfil their role. Although mentor training and professional development is a key part of this process, taking care that they receive documentation and have ready access to the resources they need is part of your responsibility as the University/Link Tutor.
Further to this, school-based mentors may need to be alerted to specific issues relating to the student-teacher which might affect their progress or the relationship between mentor and student. For example, there may have been issues arising from a previous placement which have affected a student's self-confidence or self-image. Clearly such information will need to be communicated sensitively to ensure the mentor's judgements and assessments are not compromised. However, you will need to make the decision that in some cases, forewarned is forearmed.
Background literature developing aspects of the formation, development, monitoring and maintenance of professional relationships include: • Abell et al. (1995) - The role of the mentor • Kay and Hinds (2005) - Developing a relationship • Egan (2002) - A counselling approach • Goleman (1998) - Emotional Intelligence / competence Refer to the Background Information section for more detail
Modelling expertise in practice or through conversation This is likely to be more appropriate for the teacher/subject mentors who will be working more closely with the student-teacher on a daily basis. However, arrangements could be made for student- teachers to observe teachers who are not working directly with them – for example, in another department or even in another school, particularly with examples of excellent practice in a particular field or where a teacher has a particular approach to, say, behaviour management which might be of benefit. Opportunities could also be provided for student-teachers to observe others’ practice through video or webcam.
Research suggests that modelling is most effective when a clear focus has been identified for the observer prior to the observation of practice. When a need for modelling has arisen as part of target setting or action planning, then the types of behaviour, strategies or techniques can be discussed and unpacked beforehand.
General background information on modelling can be drawn from: • Cruess, Cruess & Steinert (2008) - Role Modelling • UKCLE (n.d.) - Reflection on and in practice Refer to the Background Information section for more detail
Observing, analysing and reflecting As indicated above, observation of practice is more effective when the observer has an agenda or has been briefed on a particular focus for the observation. The same is equally applicable for mentors as for student-teachers. A pre-observation discussion is valuable in providing an opportunity to discuss the background and purposes to the activity being observed, to negotiate agreed focuses and to ensure that opportunities are not missed.
There is considerable debate as to who benefits most from analysing and reflecting in a mentoring/coaching relationship. Those who favour competency-based approaches to mentoring would suggest that it is the role of the mentor to analyse the mentee’s practice and provide feedback (against pre-defined competencies). This accords with a Standards-based approach to teacher-training which requires mentors to assess ‘trainees’ progress in relation to a set of nationally-defined criteria. However, as can be seen in the ‘What is mentoring and coaching’ section of this resource, coaching is often regarded to be a subskill of mentoring. Hence, a mentor will, at times, become a coach when identifying specific aspects of practice in need of development and providing specific targeted support. Many models of coaching adopt a more reflective, even reflexive, stance – in which coaches encourage coachees to reflect on their practice, to analyse for themselves their strengths and areas for improvement. The aim here is to encourage the student-teacher to become more independent, self-aware and resourceful in developing his or her practice.
Observation of practice can be provided through video. Some providers have issued their student-teachers with portable technology to enable them to record their own practices for later reflection and analysis whilst others have set up webcams for video streaming between school and university. Issues such as permissions, confidentiality and data protection must be considered before these strategies are considered, however.
More information of models of mentoring and coaching are provided in the Background Information section. A few key aspects related to this field include: • Brill, Kim & Galloway (2001) - Cognitive Apprenticeship • Hoffman-Kipp, Artiles & Lopez-Torres (2003) The Reflective Practice • Lave. & Wenger (1991) Situated Cognition • McNally et al (2004) Informal Learning
Providing information The ways in which information is provided by mentors and coaches for student-teachers is, of course, dependent on the circumstances. Many schools provide a welcome or briefing pack for student-teachers, often based on a staff handbook. The content, format, structure and presentation of these will vary from school to school, but this contents list may be useful if you are wishing to induct a new school or review existing handbooks. Formal information about the policies and practices of the school and/or department might be available in documentation and student-teachers should be encouraged to access these, particularly those relating to the school’s behaviour management procedures, aspects of health and safety, inclusion and equality.
It is usually the responsibility of the ITT provider to supply information about the placement; its structure, focus, expectations, processes and procedures, assessment arrangements and roles and responsibilities. This is most often provided in paper-based format for ease of access and use, but some providers are making increasing use of web-based portals for the dissemination of information and documentation – even if just for back-up.
The provision of more specific information relating to the placement and the student-teacher’s roles, responsibilities and timetabling commitments tend to lie more with the teacher-mentor. Similarly, the responsibilities for managing more specific day-to-day information about the student-teacher’s progress (eg team-planning, feedback, target-setting, reflections, and action planning) need to be clarified.
All the above, enable the student-teachers to gain a clear picture of their progress – the procedures they should be following, the expectations for their practices and the information about their ongoing performance.
For more information on raising awareness of roles and responsibilities, see the section on training, professional development and support for mentors.
Using open questions Questioning techniques have been shown to be highly effective in learning and teaching situations – to encourage the learners to draw upon their own understanding in framing a response. The majority of coaching and mentoring approaches also stress the importance of effective questioning, for similar reasons. Ideally, student-teachers should be identifying and formulating their own responses to the issues which arise from their practice and hence the role of the mentor and coach should be to encourage them to develop the awareness needed to reflect on their own practices. Often it will be necessary, and more cost-effective in terms of effort, for the mentor/coach to make a limited number of specific suggestions or recommendations for action, particularly during the early stages of the student-teacher’s practice – particularly where issues of health and safety are concerned. But even then, probing the student-teacher’s viewpoint prior to giving a response may reveal that he or she is already aware of the issue.
A further benefit of effective questioning as an approach for mentoring and coaching is that it models good practice for classroom teaching, particularly if the student-teacher’s attention is drawn to the methods and strategies being used.
There is considerable background research and information on questioning approaches to learning, teaching and development, but you may find some of these sources useful: • Aschner-Gallagher’s Questioning Techniques • Bloom’s Taxonomy • Zeus & Skiffington (2002) - dialoguing Also refer to the Background Information section for more detail
Listening actively Active Listening is a well-documented technique which is employed in a range of fields from counselling, through mentoring and coaching to personalised learning. It involves the listener in continually probing, seeking clarification, testing ideas, summarising and giving feedback to ensure that the information which is being received is congruent with what was transmitted. It is particularly valuable when coaching a student teacher, especially when seeking to ascertain the student’s view of a situation or event. Combined with effective questioning, the coach can often learn as much, sometimes more, about a learning event than the coachee. Increasingly, with the increased focused on personalisation, ‘learning conversations’ are being used with children to check on their progress and understandings. The techniques are broadly similar.
To find out more, you could explore the following: • Robertson (2005) - Outline of active listening techniques • Atherton (2005) - conversational learning theory • Carl Rogers - Reflective listening Also refer to the Background Information section for more detail
Skills specific to mentoring As we have seen in the section on 'What is Mentoring and Coaching', the role of the mentor is considered to be more global than that of the coach. The mentor is expected to support the mentee through a significant career transition and could be involved in making an assessment or appraisal of performance. In terms of supporting student-teachers in developing practice and more specifically in meeting the required Standards for QTS, the following additional skills are required.
Relate guidance to evidence A key factor in supporting student-teachers is helping to ensure they are not only addressing the Standards for QTS but are providing evidence of their performance. Providers will vary as to how this information is accumulated but most provide some sort of mapping system for relating evidence to the requirements. This may sometimes be accompanied by a portfolio (or e-Portfolio) in which evidence is compiled. Mentors have a role in guiding student teachers in identifying the types of evidence which are appropriate, monitoring the evidence-gathering and assessing the relevance, quality and range of the evidence provided. Mentors also have responsibility for ensuring they are accumulating clear evidence of the student- teachers’ performance in relation to the requirements, particularly when justifying their assessments through moderation.
As can be seen in the section on Quality Assurance, ensuring that robust and reliable evidence is being accumulated by student-teachers and mentors is a prime concern. This is not only to ensure that decisions on pass/fail or grades are equitable and fair, but also to ensure that if there are disputes, the decisions reached are accountable and verifiable.
Broker access to a range of opportunities Whereas a coach tends to work one-to-one with a coachee on a particular focused aspect of practice, a mentor may decide to arrange additional opportunities for a mentee to gain experience. For example, this may be through the observation of a leading practitioner, discussions with a specialist (eg a SENCo), participation in staff development or collaborative planning sessions, involvement in parents’ meetings or school events, visits to neighbouring schools (eg a feeder primary school), etc.
Provide feedback / Relate practice to assessment Feedback can be provided at various stages in a placement. The sort of feedback which is likely to be provided immediately following an observation of a lesson or activity is more likely to be reflective and developmental, employing the techniques of effective questioning and active listening. In terms of mentoring, feedback is more likely to be focused on the extent of the student-teacher’s progress in meeting aspects of the Standards. It might, therefore, be summative as well as formative. As indicated above, assessments of practice are more convincing and robust when related to evidence – indeed, it could be argued that assessments must be based on evidence. This is particularly important when dealing with student-teachers whose progress is causing concern as the focus will be on the aspects of practice which need attention rather than the characteristics of the individual concerned (see below).
For more information on providing feedback see: • Whitmore (2002) - The GROW model of coaching Refer to the Background Information section for more detail
Target-setting and action planning A significant omission from the Coaching and Mentoring Framework is target setting and action planning. In terms of guiding a student-teacher in meeting the requirements laid out in the Standards for QTS, having a series of clear, achievable goals is an essential part of the process of review and forward planning.
Most will be familiar with the acronym for setting SMART targets: • Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic, Time phased Whitmore (2002) also suggests targets should be PURE: • Positively stated, Understood, Relevant, Ethical) and CLEAR: • Challenging, Legal, Environmentally sound, Appropriate, Recorded
The processes for setting targets and action planning and the procedures for recording, monitoring and reviewing progress against targets and actions varies in detail between providers but the products are largely similar. In some cases, targets are set following an observation of practice, whilst other providers prefer to discuss target setting at regular (eg weekly) review meetings. Action planning tends to be more long-term or, in some cases, arising from a ‘cause for concern’ procedure.
The process by which goals or targets are identified, negotiated, discussed and agreed will vary, not only between providers but across mentors within a single partnership. This will be dependent on the relationship between the mentor and mentee and the stage the mentoring relationship has reached (See below). For example, a student-teacher with little previous experience of teaching at the start of his first placement may have difficulty identifying and setting his own targets, whereas it is to be hoped that a confident student-teacher towards the end of a final placement will be considerably more proactive in setting her own targets.
For more information on developing mentors’ and student-teachers’ skills in target setting refer to the section on mentor training and professional development. You may also find the following useful in providing some background information:
Other related areas which you may want to explore further include: • Problem-based learning / Progressive enquiry • Mind Mapping (eg Buzan) and Concept / Cognitive mapping (Tolman)
Building a learner’s control As indicated in the subsection above, a key objective for a mentor is to develop the mentoring relationship from one of dependence on the part of the mentee to independence, by shifting the locus of control from mentor to mentee. It is very important that training providers have a clear appreciation of the background of each student-teacher from the moment he or she enters the course, to ensure that the right sort and level of support is provided and that those involved in school-based training are aware of this. Many ITT programmes have comprehensive strategies for identifying the training needs of their students and, through a training plan, personalise training activities and the focus of school-based experience to meet those needs.
As student-teachers become more experienced and confident, their needs will change, and hence the training plan will have to be continuously reviewed, modified and adapted. You may find it useful to refer to some of the models of the mentoring relationship to help identify and monitor the progress of your students through the programme.
Models of mentoring and coaching identify stages through which a mentoring relationship progresses. For example: • Technical, practical, critical, emancipatory (Furlong, J., Hirst, P. H., Pocklington, K. & Miles, S. (1988)) • formal, cordial, friendship (Martin, S. (1994)) • early idealism, survival, recognising difficulties, hitting the plateau, moving on (Maynard, T., Furlong, J. (1993)) • Mutual Admiration, Development, Disillusionment, Parting, Transformation (Phillips-Jones, L. (n.d.)) Refer to the Background Information section for more detail
Regardless of the labels, these models suggest an effective mentoring relationship is one which shifts over time. However, the omnipresence of assessment against the Standards means that a key element of control remains in the hands of the mentor. The introduction of grade criteria (OFSTED, 2008) which go beyond the Standards by adopting a ‘best fit’ approach adds a further level of complication to the assessment process but does seem to be an attempt to move away from the ‘box-ticking’ competency approach to mentoring to one which lends itself more to a reflective, learner-centred model.
Skills specific to specialist coaching
Facilitate access to research and evidence to support the development of pedagogic practice In HEI-based ITT it is assumed that the HEI will provide student-teachers with access to research and, for example, inspection evidence to support the development of their practice. With the vast majority of PGCE programmes now being assessed at Masters Level, it is hard to imagine that student-teachers would not be expected to draw extensively on research to analyse, evaluate and reflect upon key aspects of practice. The impending introduction of the school-based Masters in Teaching and Learning could impact on where and how student-teachers will gain access to research evidence, particularly those following school-based training routes into teaching.
The extent to which school-based mentors have access to and utilise research evidence in carrying out their role will be dependent on the training and ongoing support they receive from their provider(s) and also their motivations, interests and background. (See Training and Development Section)
It has been argued, particularly by Argyris and Schön (1974, 1976, 1993), that professionals develop ‘theories of action’ and ‘theories-in-use’ which inform and help to rationalise and develop their practices. The notions of ‘single- and double-loop learning’, ‘reflection-on, reflection-in and reflection-through-action’ (Schön, 1983) are powerful in helping both coach and coachee to make their implicit and developing theories more explicit and hence susceptible to scrutiny, testing and challenge.
Tailor activities in partnership with the professional learner A key task of the teacher-mentor, in collaboration with the student-teacher, professional-mentor and university-tutor, is to manage the day-to-day activities which will enable student-teachers to develop their skills, knowledge and expertise. These activities can arise formally through negotiated target-setting and action planning or less formally as issues and opportunities arise.
Facilitate growing independence in professional learning from the outset As indicated in the mentoring section above (see Build a learner’s control), having an awareness of the stages through which the coaching relationship is developing will help the coach gradually shift responsibility for target setting and action planning to the coachee.
Whitmore (2002), for example, outlines the GROW model which stresses the importance from the outset of a coachee’s ‘awareness and responsibility’ for the actions which are agreed and taken in a coaching relationship.
Establish buffer zones between coaching and other formal relationships As a university tutor you will become increasingly aware of the range of coaching and mentoring relationships which develop between teacher-mentors, professional-mentors and student teachers. Sometimes there will be clashes of personality which impinge upon the coaching relationship and occasionally informal aspects of the relationship affect the objectivity of the judgements which are being made – ie the coach and the coachee become ‘too pally’.
Helping school-based mentors to be aware of the conflicts in role between being a colleague, an assessor and a friend is an important part of the training process (see Training and Professional Development) as is the importance of basing judgements on evidence (see above).
References Argyris, C. and Schön, D. (1974) Theory in practice: Increasing professional effectiveness, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Argyris, C., & Schön, D. (1978) Organizational learning: A theory of action perspective, Reading, Mass: Addison Wesley. Argyris, C. and Schön, D. (1996) Organizational learning II: Theory, method and practice, Reading, Mass: Addison Wesley. Furlong, J., Hirst, P. H., Pocklington, K. & Miles, S. (1988). Initial teacher training and the school. Milton Keynes, UK: Open University Press Martin, S. (1994). The mentoring process in pre-service teacher education. School Organization, 14, 269-277 Maynard, T., Furlong, J. (1993), "Learning to teach and models of mentoring", in McIntyre, D., Haggar, H., Wilkin, M. (Eds). Mentoring: Perspectives on School Based Teacher Education. London: Kogan Page OFSTED (2008) Grade criteria for the inspection of initial teacher education 2008–11. Retrieved on 21/01/09 from http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/content/download/5978/54268/file/Grade%20criteria%20for%20the%20inspect ion%20of%20initial%20teacher%20education%202008%E2%80%9311%20.doc. Phillips-Jones, L. (n.d.) Mentors and Protégées. Retrieved on 25/3/09 from http://home.comcast.net/~judybrack/pdf/Brochures/MentorsAndProtegees.pdf Schön, D. A. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner. How professionals think in action, London: Temple Smith. Whitmore, J. (2002). Coaching for Performance: GROWing People, Performance and Purpose. London: Nicholas Brearley Publishing
author: Rik Bennett Training and Professional Development in Mentoring and Coaching
This section provides you with some ideas and resources for inducting and developing the expertise of mentors with whom you will be working. Training for mentors can be provided through formal, centre-based training sessions or through one-to-one school-based contact. Included in this section are examples of activities and resources which might prove useful in clarifying your role in training and supporting mentors with whom you are working.
The type and focus of the training you provide will be dependent on a number of interrelated factors: the particular role of the recipients, their background experience of teaching, their existing knowledge and experience of mentoring and coaching, the partnership arrangements, your role, the nature and purpose of the training and the location of and circumstances determining the training. For example, training could take place on a one-to-one basis with a mentor during a school-visit; alternatively, the training may take place as part of a one-day conference for all types of mentor across the whole partnership. Similarly, the training could be provided online, through the provision of documentation and resources, via the student-teachers or through university-tutors.
Some of the strategies and approaches you may want to consider in providing support for your mentors might include: • One-to-one ongoing support via university tutors and/or link tutors • One-to-one support for teacher-mentors provided by professional mentors • Cascade training provided to link tutors and/or professional mentors which is then disseminated to teacher-mentors • Training manuals, booklets, leaflets and documentation for consultation on a need-to-know basis • Online activities, materials and resources for mentors • Online discussion-boards, blogs and FAQs to address ongoing needs • Cluster-based training sessions for mentors with a common interest • Centre-based induction and update sessions for target groups of mentors • Centre-based ‘training’ sessions for specific groups of mentors • Centre-based conferences to address identified needs or particular initiatives • Local or regional conferences and briefings
Rather than attempting to anticipate the range of approaches which you may decide to adopt, this section will focus on the purposes of the training, leaving you to determine the most appropriate means by which the training and development is delivered.
The model of training and development which is proposed here draws upon several sources and is based on experience across a range of providers. It aims to address the skills and knowledge needed for effective mentoring and coaching in an ITT setting by organising training activities according to the needs of the recipients.
Introduction to mentoring and coaching Intended audience Anyone engaged in mentoring ITT student-teachers would benefit from a general introduction to mentoring and coaching. Those who have been involved in mentoring and coaching for some time may benefit from an update on current developments.
Content There are two elements to this awareness raising; an introduction to the principles of mentoring and coaching and an introduction to the practices, policies and procedures used by the training provider.
The principles of mentoring and coaching • What is mentoring and coaching • Models of mentoring and coaching • What are the skills of mentoring and coaching
The practices, policies and procedures of mentoring within our partnership • Clarification of the roles and responsibilities of those engaged in mentoring and coaching within the partnership (ie Who) • Overview of the training programme – where the school-based element(s) fit into the training programme as a whole (ie What) • Policies and procedures – an overview of the practices of managing school-based training particular to this partnership (ie How) • Documentation – overview of paperwork required by the provider in managing the school-based components of the programme and where to find it (ie Which) • Expectations and outcomes – what is expected of the student-teachers and of the mentors at key points in the programme (ie When)
Mentoring Intended audience As can be seen from the other sections of this resource (What is menotoring and coaching?|199|2#), it is assumed that mentoring is more likely to be the primary focus of the university tutor and professional mentor, in managing, assessing and monitoring the training process. However, teacher-mentors will need to be aware of some of the issues included here, particularly those relating to the assessment and target setting.
Content The Mentoring process • Models of mentoring • Establishing, maintaining and developing working relationships with student-teachers, university tutors and mentors.
Inducting student-teachers • Welcome packs and procedures for inducting student-teachers into the school or setting • Clarification of roles, responsibilities and expectations for all involved, and where to go for support, guidance and assistance
Facilitation for mentoring • Arranging training opportunities within the placement – timetables, access to specialists, identifying relevant activities in relation to training plans and expectations for a placement
Monitoring • Checking on progress (of student-teachers and mentors) • Quality assurance of the ongoing support being provided and moderation of assessments (eg through paired observations and assessments) • The ‘cause for concern’ procedure for student-teachers at risk of failing
Assessment • Interpretation and application of the Standards and OFSTED grade criteria • Accumulating evidence for addressing the Standards • Recognising effective practice appropriate for a newly qualified teacher • Moderating assessments and dispute management • Action planning and target setting
Coaching Intended audience Although teacher-mentors are those most likely to be engaged in coaching student-teachers, mentors too will be expected to coach student-teachers from time to time and will almost certainly be involved in coaching teacher-mentors. It is also important that the coachees are provided with training in their role in the coaching relationship. A powerful way of achieving this is to plan training activities which involve both the mentors and the student-teachers working together.
Content The coaching relationship • The coaching process • The role of the coach and the coachee • Establishing, developing, maintaining a coaching relationship
Observation and feedback • Observing and recording practice • Active listening • Reflection and analysis • Target setting and action planning
Facilitation for coaching • Monitoring progress • Gathering evidence • Identifying opportunities for developing the skills and competences of the student-teacher • Modelling practice • Team planning and team teaching • Observing others’ practice
Training activities and resources What follows is a selective overview of the types of activity which could be used in supporting and developing the capabilities of the mentors for whom you have responsibility. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but may provide some ideas.
Scenarios Scenario-based approaches provide opportunities for mentors to reflect on their own experiences or devise strategies for dealing with situations which have so far been outside their own experience. For example, a scenario might focus on a student-teacher who is not making expected progress despite having been set clear targets.
Scenarios can be presented through thumbnail descriptions of situations, through audio recordings of say a feedback session, through transcripts of a target-setting session, through video recordings of actual or staged sessions or through role play.
Summary cards An extension of the above could be to supply the participants with a series of cards which attempt to summarise the key issues arising from the scenario. The cards should be of varying relevance, with some being highly significant and others being irrelevant. The participants sort the cards according to significance. For example, cards could be provided showing the Standards. The participants are asked to identify which of the Standards is most applicable to the situation.
Perspectives/spectacles analysis An interesting variation on the above is for participants to try and see the issues arising from a scenario or an incident from another’s perspective – for example the student-teacher’s, the children’s, the head of department’s, the university tutor’s, the professional mentor’s, an OFSTED inspector’s, etc.. For those wishing to take this further, participants could be asked to view a situation from the perspective of an educationist such as Vygotsky, Bandura, Bruner, Schön or Moon.
Modelling and role play Similar to scenarios, a group of participants is asked to work through a situation (eg giving feedback following a particularly difficult lesson) and the other participants are asked to act as observers, recording examples of, for example, active listening, effective questioning or negotiated target setting.
Sorting or classifying activities Participants are provided with cards or post-its of concepts, statements, descriptions or outlines of events and asked to sort them into order of priority, seriousness, relevance or difficulty. Alternatively, the cards could be sorted into categories either defined by the organiser or on the basis of an emergent classification system. For example, a series of tasks could be sorted by participants according to who they consider should take responsibility for their completion.
A variation of the above is to ask the participants to create their own cards or post-its of, say, issues which are concerning them, and sort these into priority order or group them into clusters.
Concept mapping Participants brainstorm their understanding of an aspect of mentoring and coaching (eg giving feedback) and, using post-it notes, link the ideas together in the form of a concept-map. This provides the trainer with a useful overview of the participants’ current state of knowledge and understanding and allows participants to share their knowledge with the rest of the group.
SWOT/GAP analysis Participants are asked to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to partnership arrangements within their own schools and/or across the partnership. Whilst this might prove to be uncomfortable for you as the organiser, the next stage will be for the participants to generate ways forward to make enhancements. This process sometimes reveals that the issues require some sharing of responsibility.
Generating solutions Groups of participants are presented with problems which might arise as part of their role as mentor, coach, tutor or student-teacher. They must then generate as many solutions (or responses) as they can within an allotted time. They should be encouraged to consider a full range of solutions, including those which are not feasible as sometimes these can lead to novel solutions.
Buzz Groups Small groups of participants are asked to discuss a particular issue and then feed back to the group as a whole their thoughts. The issues could be common to all groups, related issues or diverse issues. For example, a real issue might be the communication of information across the partnership. The buzz groups could be used to suggest ways in which communication could be improved; one group focusing on documentation, another group on web-based resources and a third group on communication through individuals such as the student-teachers and link tutors.
Moderation activities and events Participants bring evidence of student-teachers’ planning, reflections, action-planning to a group session to compare their assessments.
Paired observations An effective way of developing practice is to arrange paired observations of student-teachers’ practice. The participants make independent records of their observations and compare notes subsequently, noting similarities and differences in their practices and outcomes. Paired observation sessions can be staged in university-based training sessions through the use of video.
Co-coaching Mentors and coaches work together on developing an aspect of their practice which is of mutual concern. The participants agree beforehand the objectives and strategies for enhancing their practice and then monitor each other (eg through observation of a feedback session with a student-teacher) to develop aspects of their practice. It has been shown that both observer and observed benefit greatly from such experiences.
Learning logs and diaries Just as student-teachers are expected to complete learning logs of their progress, mentors could also keep logs of their experiences, particularly events or incidents which are particularly significant. These could be shared on a one-to-one basis with professional mentors, university tutors or link tutors for reflection or analysis or could be used as the basis for a group-based session (suitably anonymised).
Peer tutoring / peer explaining Prior to a training session, participants could be asked to explore a particular aspect of their role and present a summary of their findings to the group. For example, one participant might be asked to find out about the GROW model of coaching whilst another is asked to study Egan’s ‘skilled helper’ approach. The group could then discuss the relevance of these models for their own practice.
Swapshop Each participant is asked to describe an aspect of their practice in working as a mentor which they feel is particularly effective. These are collated and discussed. To make this feel less intimidating, this could be done in small groups to later be shared with the whole cohort.
author: Rik Bennett The Quality Assurance of School-based Provision
Two sections of the ICT Tutors website deal with aspects of quality assurance within the university based components ITT programmes (Quality Assurance and Delivering High Quality Training), this section is about quality assurance of your school-based provision.
The OFSTED framework for the inspection of Initial Teacher Training is a useful starting point when evaluating the quality of your school-based provision. - http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/Ofsted-home/Forms-and-guidance/Browse-all-by/Other/General/Framework-fo r-the-inspection-of-initial-teacher-education-2008-11
Similarly, you need and your mentors need to be very familiar with the OFSTED Grade Criteria to ensure that all judgements of your student-teachers’ performance accords with those of the inspectors. http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/Ofsted-home/Forms-and-guidance/Browse-all-by/Other/General/Grade-criter ia-for-the-inspection-of-initial-teacher-education-2008-11
A key aspect of the inspection is a judgement on the overall effectiveness of the provision. OFSTED are principally concerned with the extent to which the provision is successful in securing high-quality outcomes for all trainees. To make this judgement they take account of a series of factors.
Whether available resources are used effectively and efficiently how well the available resources are deployed to secure the best possible outcomes for trainees how well the provider explains and justifies the allocation of resources in terms of the outcomes for trainees This will include the way in which the funding which is provided for training by the TDA is deployed within the university and across the partnership schools. The expectation is that the moneys which are provided to schools for ITT trainees is used to, for example, facilitate paired observations, meetings with key members of staff, non-contact time for attendance at mentor training sessions. Part of your QA role will therefore be to check on how schools are utilising the funds which the university devolves to them. This is clearly a sensitive area but something into which OFSTED will enquire.
A further issue which forms part of an OFSTED inspection is the extent to which the provision across the partnership is of consistently high quality. Factors to be considered include: the extent to which all trainers contribute to the training programme and the accurate assessments of trainees to secure the best possible outcomes for individuals and groups of trainees, as evidenced by: how well all those involved in training understand the rationale for the training programme the quality of placements and mentoring support for trainees the involvement of all partners in reviewing, planning and delivering the training programme the extent to which all training partners have high expectations for training and of trainees the effectiveness of the professional development of all trainers in securing and sustaining high-quality training and consistent and reliable assessments of trainees the accuracy of final assessments the views of trainees. Clearly, this provides a clear agenda for you in organising your mentor training sessions, ensuring school-based colleagues are actively involved in monitoring, developing, contributing to and being kept up to date with changes to the programme.
Another key aspect is the reliability, accuracy and consistency of assessments of trainees’ practice. Ensuring that mentors new to the partnership are provided with adequate training and ongoing support (e.g. through paired observations and moderation events with the professional mentor and/or university tutor) is another key element of quality assurance.
There will be an expectation that you will keep accurate records of not only each trainee’s progress, but also the stage of training and experience, consistency of support and assessments and the feedback from trainees for each mentor in the partnership.
Similarly, you will be expected to have regularly and continuously gathered the views and evaluation data from mentors and trainees, analysed them for patterns and anomalies and put into effect action plans and strategies for addressing any issues which have arisen.
Another key element of the inspection will be a judgement on the extent to which the provision promotes equality of opportunity, values diversity and eliminates harassment and unlawful discrimination. Inspectors will seek to determine: the views of trainees how well the partnership ensures that all trainees receive their entitlement to high-quality training to secure the best possible outcomes how well the partnership promotes equality of access and opportunity, eliminates any harassment and unlawful discrimination how well the partnership creates a harmonious and inclusive environment for learning through: the quality of support for the personal well-being of individual and groups of trainees how secure trainees feel in declaring a disability and/or personal circumstance and/or in reporting incidents of harassment and unlawful discrimination how confident trainees are that any declaration will lead to adjustments and adaptations to training programmes so that equality of access is secured There is an expectation that the university will have made clear to partnership schools its policies for race equality and discrimination and set in place procedures for trainees to report any issues which arise. Trainees will also be expected to be made aware of the school’s own policies and procedures safeguarding the wellbeing of the children they will be teaching.
Inspectors will ask the trainees about their knowledge and understanding of the policies and procedures and you will be expected to be able to outline how issues have or will be dealt with should they arise.
Inspectors will also evaluate how performance is reviewed in order to improve or to sustain high-quality outcomes. They will explore: the extent to which self-evaluation by management: covers all aspects of the provision (including the Requirements and legislation for equality and diversity) is based on reliable evidence, including the views of trainees and other users such as schools and colleges has correctly identified any variations in the quality of provision is incisive, rigorous and accurate includes the analysis of trainees’ progress and attainments over time provides a secure basis to evaluate impact and plan for further improvements how well the quality of recruitment and selection, training and assessment of trainees across the partnership is monitored and judged, through: the analysis of data and other information about trainees’ progress and attainment, including that made by particular groups, and, where appropriate, trainees’ future career paths the scrutiny of the impact of the policies on diversity, equal opportunities and race relations, and the elimination of harassment and unlawful discrimination the quality of internal and external moderation of the assessment of trainees’ progress and attainment the extent to which the provider takes account of a wide range of evidence, including the views of current trainees and training partners, former trainees and their employing institutions, and other stakeholders, to evaluate the quality of the training. You will probably be asked to explain how you track the progress of trainees from interview through to the award of the qualification at the end of the course. You should also have available examples of how you have acted on concerns over the quality of school-based provision, indicating how these were identified and the strategies you had in place for dealing with them. You will need to keep evidence of your monitoring visits to schools, how you make judgements about the quality of provision in school and how you provide school-based mentors with feedback on the effectiveness of their support. As indicated above, how you and/or your professional mentors moderate the assessments of subject mentors will be scrutinised.
The inspectors will evaluate how you and your partnership anticipates change, and prepares for and responds to national and local initiatives. This will include: the extent to which the leadership at all levels deals effectively with change, implements improvement and assesses impact, through: the effectiveness of planning in anticipating and addressing changes in policy, and national/local initiatives the extent to which workforce, partnership and resource planning and development are effective in preparing to meet the demands created by these changes use of systematic and/or innovative and creative approaches: to dealing with change; longstanding and intractable problems; implementing improvement; and assessing impact. You should make sure you can explain how you keep your school-based mentors up-to-date with developments in the ITT programme which reflect ongoing changes to the curriculum and current initiatives.
Finally, the inspection will explore the extent to which you plan and take action for improvement. This will cover: how well planning builds on clearly identified needs and priorities, establishes focused and measurable success criteria and allocates resources to achieve the best outcomes for trainees the extent to which leadership at all levels has a record of securing improvement and/or sustaining high-quality outcomes for trainees, as evidenced by: the effectiveness of the actions taken to ensure consistently high-quality training and outcomes across the partnership the impact of the actions taken to deal with identified shortcomings in trainees’ progress and attainments the effectiveness with which the necessary actions are communicated across the partnership. You should therefore ensure you have evidence that you have analysed evaluations, assessment information and trends, not only within your own programme but also in comparison with the performance of similar providers and national benchmarks (eg the annual NQT survey). There should therefore be a clear link between performance data and developments in the programme to improve provision and/or to address any areas of concern. It will be expected that developments will have been made with the involvement of colleagues in school and that all those engaged in partnership will have been informed about the implications of changes.
Although the above sounds quite daunting, most of it is common sense. Just as you will keep clear and accurate records of the progress of each trainee, you should also ensure you have QA information about all schools and mentors. Mentor training (whether university-based, cluster-based or on a one-to-one basis) should provide opportunities to consult with and keep colleagues abreast of developments. It makes sense therefore, to log all contact with school-based mentors and ensure that rigorous systems are in place for gathering and analysing performance data.
author: Rik Bennett Background Information on Mentoring and Coaching
What follows is an attempt to provide a flavour of the issues, themes, underpinning theories and rationales for mentoring and coaching. You will find that there is a wealth of information available via the internet as mentoring and coaching for improving leadership, management, corporate development, business acumen, sporting prowess and general life skills is big business. Some of this information and approaches are founded on pseudo-scientific principles, but because the focus of mentoring and coaching is on personal development, it also touches upon a wide range of topics ranging from the study of social interaction, through perception, to learning theories.
The issues presented here are an attempt to provide a background to the themes presented in the other sections of this resource and are intended to provide you with a springboard for further enquiry.
What is mentoring and coaching? The CUREE National Framework for mentoring and coaching has been endorsed by the NCSL, the DfES, the TDA, the GTC, the QCA and the National Strategies. It provides a useful overview of the roles and skills required of mentors, specialist coaches and co-coaches, and forms the background to this resource. As has been shown however, it does have its limitations: See – http://www.curee-paccts.com/mentoring-and-coaching
The National College for School Leadership (NCSL) provides a range of information and resources supporting mentoring and coaching for leadership within educational settings. Although not specifically related to ITT, there is also information on mentoring for personalisation. A useful overview of the differences between mentoring and coaching can be downloaded from - http://www.ncsl.org.uk/publications-index/publications-display.htm?id=21352
The Coaching and Mentoring Network provides a range of sources, including an extensive collection of articles on aspects of mentoring and coaching. Although not specific to teacher education, the information provided helps provide a background to key principles associated with mentoring and coaching . A useful article outlining the key differences between mentoring and coaching can be accessed through - http://www.coachingnetwork.org.uk/resourcecentre/WhatAreCoachingAndMentoring.htm
Refer to the What is Mentoring and Coaching section for more information The benefits of mentoring and coaching for schools and teachers When promoting the value for schools of engagement in mentoring ITT student-teachers, it is sometimes useful to be able to point to studies which identifies ongoing benefits. Bullough (2005) suggests the key benefits of mentoring are: enhancing confidence, building capacity for overcoming difficulties, increasing morale and job satisfaction Cain (2009) argues that the benefits for mentors in making use of research evidence are that it helps to inform practice; to improve understanding of mentoring using theoretical frameworks, to learn through vicarious experiences of mentoring and to discover ways of investigating one’s own practice Hurd, Jones, McNamara & Craig (2007) suggest that engagement by schools in ITT provide a series of benefits for enhancing their professional practice. Tier 1 benefits include: access to teaching resources and information on curriculum developments and new ideas. Tier 2 benefits include: enthused teachers becoming inspired and motivated to change their classroom practices. Tier 3 benefits include: value congruence between provider and school with training-active schools achieving significantly higher test results and higher Ofsted inspection grades. McIntyre & Hagger (1996) identify benefits for schools and teachers in terms of reducing isolation, increasing confidence/self-esteem and improving self-reflection and problem-solving. Mentoring Roles, Skills, Strategies and Qualities This resource has used the CUREE framework for mentoring and coaching as a basis, largely because it has been recognised and adopted by most of the organisations involved in teaching and teacher education. As has been indicated in the Skills section, it does have its limitations. The following annotated bibliography provides an overview of other sources on which you may wish to draw, particularly when developing training and development programmes which might lead to advanced qualifications or classroom-based research. Abell et al. (1995) identify a series of roles which mentors of beginning teachers (ie NQTs) may adopt. These include: parent figure, support system, trouble shooter, scaffolder, guide, counsellor and role model Buell (2004) Highlights four common approaches to mentoring; cloning, nurturing, friendship and apprenticeship Burgess & Shelton Mayes (2007) stress the importance of mentors supporting professional development through an apprenticeship approach. They suggest the role of the mentor includes identifying starting points for mentoring, mentoring for growth and assessing the mentee. Feiman-Nemser & Parker (1992) suggest there are three types of mentor: local guides, educational companions, agents of change – the latter being the most effective. Fletcher (2004) sees the mentor and mentee working together in partnership with the mentor acting as a co-researcher with the mentee. Furlong & Maynard (1995) have probably had the greatest influence on the development of mentoring in teacher education. They suggest mentors act as models, a coach, mentors, critical friends and a co-enquirers. As a model they support the student’s observations and become involved in collaborative teaching focused on rules and routines. As a coach they engage in systematic observation and provide feedback the student’s ‘performance’. As a mentor they facilitate reflection –on –action. When acting as a critical friend they observe and re-examine the effectiveness of lesson planning and delivery and as a co-enquirer they teach and supervise in partnership with the student, negotiating the focus and working collaboratively on aspects of practice. Hall et al (2008) point to issues of dual identity with teacher-mentors (ie teacher v mentor). They suggest that the mentor needs to be prepared to provide emotional as well as professional support. Mentors need to understand the implications of university assignment supervision and become involved in critical evaluation and reflection whilst also developing these skills in the student. Mentors also need to be prepared to become involved in team teaching and collaborative planning. The writers argue that an effective mentor possesses a range of attributes and personal qualities which include: relevant experience, the ability to offer constructive criticism, the means by which to arrange teaching opportunities and a willingness to model and demonstrate. The importance of role clarity is also emphasised as a key characteristic of success. Hoad (2007) lists a series of qualities which effective mentors of ITT students possess. These include; developing mutual trust, being supportive, modelling teaching, providing induction into the school and classroom, sharing expert knowledge, building autonomy in the trainee, supporting growth of the trainee’s identity as a teacher, possessing interpersonal skills and having the ability to be critically reflective. Kajs (2002) proposes a framework for supporting novice teachers which includes; knowledge of the stages of teacher development, an appreciation of adult learning principles, an appreciation of the role of professional development, skills in assessment, interpersonal skills, and relevant classroom knowledge and skills. Kay and Hinds (2005) suggest that the general attributes needed for effective mentoring include; enthusiasm, commitment, willingness, approachability, an ability to open doors and relevant experience. They also suggest that the development of the following skills is beneficial; listening, motivating, influencing, fact finding, liaising, counselling and time management. Marable & Raimondi (2007) have explored what NQTs found to be the most valuable types of support during their first year of teaching and identify; observation, feedback, written materials, visibility and contact, ongoing support on an individual level, clear expectation of roles and responsibilities, problem resolution, ‘get together’ with peers, focus groups, networking time and classroom visits to other schools. McNally & Martin (1998) identify three types of mentor - Type A nurturer/supporter, ‘laissez-faire’ low challenge - Type B, high support, high challenge, reflective - Type C, authority figure, lacks engagement – with type B being seen as the most effective Mullen and Lick (1999) suggest that mentoring is best when the two parties work in partnership, creating a synergy. Rowley (1999) outlines the key characteristics of a ‘Good Mentor’. These include being committed, recognising the role of the beginning teacher, providing instructional support, being effective with interpersonal skills, modelling continuous learning, and communicating hope and optimism. Saunders, Pettinger & Tomlinson (1995) identify four types of mentor: ‘hands-off’, ‘progressively collaborative’, ‘professional friend’, ‘classical’ mentor’. They do not favour any particular type, suggesting each has its benefits and drawbacks. The Scottish HMIE (2008) set-out a series of skills which are required for effective mentoring of ITT students which include; observing practice, asking questions, giving advice, giving feedback, instructing, listening to understand, making suggestions, offering guidance, paraphrasing, reflecting, summarising and telling. They also identify particular features of effective practice in mentoring and coaching which include; a learning conversation, reflection and sharing, agreed outcomes, focus on learning and teaching, mutual benefit and confidentiality. Williams et al (1998) studied effective mentoring relationships in secondary schools, highlighting the following: supporting, actively teaching, guiding, providing information, offering practical strategies, feeding back on lessons, providing clear assessments of practice. Stages of mentoring / coaching The CUREE model does not indicate ways in which a mentoring / coaching relationship might develop over time. For those who are involved in PGCE programmes, where the mentoring relationship between a school-based mentor and student-teacher lasts for several weeks, it is likely that the relationship between mentor and mentee will evolve as they become more familiar with each other, and as the student teacher becomes more at home in the environment and more proficient in teaching. The following developmental models of mentoring relationships shed some light on how such a relationship might develop: Boydell (1994) proposes five stages through which a mentee may pass: learning to implement; doing things well, learning to improve; doing things better and learning to integrate; doing better things Brookes & Sikes (1997) put forward a stepped process which commences initially with an apprenticeship approach with the mentor acting as the master craftsman taking most of the initiative but steadily moving into that of co-researchers. Dreyfus & Dreyfus (1986) identify five states through which a mentee may pass: novice, advanced beginning, competent, proficient, expert Egan (2002) focuses on the interpersonal relationships and proposes a three-stage ‘helping’ model with various sub-steps. Stage 1 – ‘What’s going on?’ which aims to help the ‘client’ clarify the key issues and identify the need for change; Stage 2 – ‘What solutions make sense for me?’ which is designed to help clients determine outcomes; Stage 3 – ‘What do I have to do to get what I need or want?’ which supports the client in developing strategies for achieving their goals. Fletcher (2004) draws upon Kolb’s cycle of practice by proposing that mentoring goes through a series of cycles of planning, experimentation and review. With responsibility being shifted from mentor to mentee as the relationship develops. Furlong, Hirst, Pocklington & Miles (1988) suggest four levels of learning in student teachers: technical, practical, critical and emancipatory Furlong & Maynard (1995) propose five phases of development for beginning teachers, though they are not necessarily sequential as the student-teachers may move back and forth through them dependent on the circumstances: Early Idealism, Personal Survival, Dealing With Difficulties, Hitting A Plateau, Moving On (“acting like a teacher” and “thinking like a teacher) Martin (1994) identifies three stages in the mentoring process: formal, cordial, friendship Maynard & Furlong (1993) propose three models of mentoring: the apprenticeship model, the competency model and the reflective practitioner Pask & Joy (2007) put forward six stages of what they deem to be mentoring-coaching: Context, Issues, Responsibility, Future, Deciding, Action. They suggest that mentoring-coaching is a unified process with mentor-coaches shifting from one role to the other (and back again) as the relationship develops. Phillips-Jones (n.d.) suggests mentoring tends to follow the same pattern: starting with ‘mutual admiration’, moving on to the ‘development’ phase which ultimately leads to ‘disillusionment’, and then ‘parting’. However despite this, the outcome is considered to be ‘transformation’ Whitmore’s (2002) GROW model of coaching outlines the four stages of a coaching relationship as being the identification of the Goal (ie what does the client want to achieve?), specifying the Reality of the current situation, deciding what Options are available and finally choosing what Will be done to achieve the desired outcome(s). The skills of mentoring and coaching To augment or elaborate on your training and development sessions for mentoring and coaching skills, you may want to refer to some of the background literature and/or resources which relates to some of the theoretical underpinning.
Developing relationships Bokeno (2009) suggests that as mentoring and coaching are a form of learning relationship, it is important to match the relationship to the goals which should determine the type of learning conversation Egan (2001) emphasises humanistic approaches and sees relationships as a ‘working alliance’ - a collaborative, forum for relearning but needing to be flexible. Values underpin the development of the relationship with a particular emphasis on respect (do no harm, be competent and committed, show you are ‘for the client, assume the client’s goodwill, don’t rush to judgement, keep the client’s agenda as the focus) and be empathetic (but not sympathetic) Whitmore (2002) suggests that building ‘awareness’ and ‘responsibility’ is the essence of good coaching - "gathering a clear perception of the relevant facts and information, and the ability to determine what is relevant", build self-reliance, self belief, self confidence, self responsibility, "the awareness-raising function of the expert coach is indispensable”. A coach is not a problem solver, teacher, instructor or expert - he is a sounding board, facilitator, counsellor or awareness raiser. Modelling practice Cruess, Cruess & Steinert (2008) offer a view of ‘role modelling’ from a nursing perspective and identify key competences needed for a role model: Clinical competence (ie knowledge and skills, communication with patients and staff, and sound clinical reasoning and decision making.) , Teaching skills (ie A student centred approach incorporating effective communication, feedback, and opportunities for reflection) and Personal qualities (ie compassion, honesty, and integrity, effective interpersonal relationships, enthusiasm for practice and teaching, and an uncompromising quest for excellence) Murray & Main (2005) identify aspects of mentoring which include: Befriending; Planning; Collaborating; Coaching; Reflecting. They put forward a proposed framework for role modelling in action which includes communication and assessment; planning, implementation and evaluation; and ‘reflection on the move’ Observation and Feedback Edge (1993) offers a highly personal view which stresses the importance of listening, discussing alternatives, providing a feedback ‘sandwich’ (ie positive, identify issue, positive), and encouraging self-reflection. Teachers TV (2008) http://www.teachers.tv/video/27078 - A fifteen minute video clip outlining key principles of giving feedback and setting targets with a student-teacher University of Chester (2006) Post Lesson Discussion. http://teachermentor.chester.ac.uk/index.php?page_id=273482&group=1 – a video extract of tutor providing feedback and setting targets for a primary student teacher following observation Effective Questioning Blair et al (2006) present the outcomes from an international project which suggests effective questioning includes: Open questions, Closed questions, Leading questions, Questions that follow the students’ interest, Clarifying questions, Challenging questions, Incisive questions, and Questions that check out commitment Egan (2001) takes a counselling perspective and suggests; ask a limited number of questions which are open ended. Use questions to explore possibilities and which act as probes to clarify meaning and to uncover blind-spots. Sinclair (n.d.) suggests questions which: support the coachee's learning need to be open, encourage looking beyond the immediate, invite a personal response, and promote commitment and action Whitmore (2002) whose GROW model has become well established suggests effective questions: compel thinking, demand high resolution focus, should seek descriptive (v judgemental) answers, provide opportunities for feedback for coach. He argues that questions need to evoke factual answers rather than opinions, should be progressive focusing from broad to specific, and must follow the coachee's lead rather than the coach’s (hidden) agenda. Zeus & Skiffington (2002) argue that questioning is a core dialoguing skill. How, What, When, Where, Why (with caution) questions help clarify the situation and encourage descriptive responses. Clarifying, elaborating, challenging and confronting questions help with active listening. There should also be ‘Appreciative Questioning’ (to focus on strengths) and ‘Problem-Free questioning’ (to focus on aspects of practice which are successful) . The authors also place emphasis on the value of metaphors when dialoguing. Target setting and action planning Mindtools.com (n.d.) outline the background to SMART goal setting and stresses the need to take account of Clarity, Challenge, Commitment., Feedback and Task complexity. Whitmore (2002) suggests the most effective feedback is subjective and descriptive – the worst is personal and judgemental. He argues that generating high quality relevant feedback, from within rather than from an expert, is essential for continuous improvement - Goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, agreed, realistic, time phased), PURE (positively stated, understood, Relevant, ethical) and CLEAR (challenging, legal, environmentally sound, appropriate, recorded) Active listening Robertson (2005) summarises ‘Active Listening Skills’ as: attentive body language: posture and gestures showing involvement and engagement, appropriate body movement, appropriate facial expressions, appropriate eye contact, conducted in a non-distracting environment. In addition, she lists: following skills (ie giving the speaker space to tell their story in their own way), asking interested ‘door openers’, using minimal verbal encouragers; and asking infrequent, timely and considered questions. She stresses the importance of attentive silences and reflecting skills (ie restating the feeling and/or content with understanding and acceptance), paraphrasing (check periodically that you’ve understood), reflecting back feelings and content, and summarising the major issues. New Jersey Self-Help Group Clearinghouse (n.d.) http://www.medhelp.org/njgroups/WHAT%20IS%20ACTIVE%20LISTENING.pdf presents a useful summary sheet outlining the key principles of Active Listening. Theoretical underpinning Because mentoring and coaching touches upon a wide range of areas of learning, from interpersonal communication, through emotional intelligence to learning theories such as social constructivism, what follows is only a flavour of the background literature. With teaching moving to become a Masters’ level profession, there is likely to be an increasing need for mentors to refer and contribute to the growing fields of literature on mentoring, coaching and hence draw upon key sources.
General Burgess & Shelton Mayes (2007) paper describes the value of mentoring (for teaching assistants) in terms of their professional development through an apprenticeship approach Cain (2009) outlines the benefits for mentors in using research to inform their work, identifying benefits of learning by reflecting and learning through apprenticeship. It provides a useful overview of these two perspectives which underpin mentoring and coaching Online Journals and resource banks for mentoring and coaching The International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring http://www.business.brookes.ac.uk/research/areas/coachingandmentoring/?err404=research/areas/coa ching&mentoring - free access to academic articles about mentoring and coaching The Mentoring Leadership and Resource Network – source of online articles http://www.mentors.net/03articles.html Resources for Teacher Leadership – mentoring and coaching - http://cse.edc.org/products/teacherleadership/mentoring.asp Emotional Intelligence (EI) Goleman (1998) provides what is probably the key text for defining EI. A summary outlining the key issues can be downloaded from Business Summaries in a Nutshell - http://www.irgworld.in/docs/Success/WorkingWithEmotionalIntelligence.pdf%7C Locke (2005) suggests that EI is of limited value because 1. The definition of the concept is constantly changing. 2. Most definitions are so all-inclusive as to make the concept unintelligible. 3. One definition (e.g., reasoning with emotion) involves a contradiction. 4. There is no such thing as actual emotional intelligence, although intelligence can be applied to emotions as well as to other life domains. He suggests a more productive approach is to explore ‘introspective skills’. Informal Learning Colley, Hodkinson & Malcolm (2003) provide a clear and detailed overview of the background and applications of information and formal learning GLACIER (n.d.) outlines and explores Eurat’s (2004) typology of informal learning: Implicit, reactive and deliberative learning. McNally et al (2004) details the key principles of informal learning and its application Reflection and reflective practice Hoffman-Kipp, Artiles & Lopez-Torres (2003) provide a useful overview of the background to reflective practice in teaching, tracing its development to the present day UKCLE (n.d.) presents a brief overview of Moon, Biggs, Kolb and Schon’s views on reflection and reflective practice. PracticebasedLearning.org (2008) provide information and resources related to: Becoming a reflective practitioner, Assessment and reflection, Supervision relationship and reflective practice, Learning from significant events, Tools for reflection. Although aimed at health and social care practitioners, the resources and ideas have relevance for ITT Smith (2001) presents a useful overview of the underpinning for Argyris’s work, including theories in action and single and double loop learning Tomlinson (1995) provides an overview of the teaching Cycle (Plan/Reflect – Teach – Monitor outcome), developing professional knowledge, Reflective Coaching, Mentoring Assistance, Progressively collaborative teaching (PCT), effective facilitator Constructivism Cox (2003) argues for a constructivist approach which centres on the needs of the mentee Hoover (1996)presents a brief but well detailed overview on the implications of constructivism on educational practice Reusser (2001) proposes that dialogue through cognitive apprenticeship is central to the development of teachers’ understanding of their practices based on experience Situated Cognition Brill, Kim & Galloway (2001) presents a clear overview of cognitive apprenticeship and its relationship with situated cognition and communities of practice – includes useful resources including video and flash animation Edwards (1998) suggest that the context determines the style of learning. He sees learning as knowledge to be acquired and then deployed v situated cognition Lave & Wenger (1991) suggest knowledge is conceived as socially situated and constructed within communities of practice Action Learning / Action Reflection Learning Marquardt (1999) identifies six components of action learning: 1. a problem or challenge of importance to the group; 2. a group of four to eight members, ideally from diverse backgrounds and/or parts of the organization; 3. a process that emphasizes questions and reflection; 4. the power to take action on strategies developed; 5. a commitment to learning at the individual, team and organizational levels; and 6. an action learning coach who focuses on capturing the learning and improving the skills of the group. Revans (1982) was the originator of active learning – this seminal work outlines the key principles Rimanoczy (2007) describes the elements of Action Reflection Learning (ARL) as - Ownership: taking ownership for one’s learning, Sequenced learning, Exchange of learnings, Just-in-time learning (just-in-time intervention), Learning and personality styles, Appreciative approach, Linking: connecting the concept with other contexts, Coaching one-on-one, Safe environments, Balance task/learning, Learning coach, Holistic involvement of the individual, Questioning, Feedback, Five-level system, Guided reflection, Unfamiliar environments Learning conversations and dialogue Atherton (2005) presents a very accessible outline of conversational learning theory Remington Smith (2007) argues that student-teachers would benefit from training in their role in mentoring and coaching dialogues
References and further reading Abell, S. K., Dillon, D. R., Hopkins, C. J., McInerney, W D., & O'Brien, D. G. (1995). Somebody to count on: Mentor/intern relationships in a beginning teacher internship program. Teaching and Teacher Education, 11 (2), 173-188. Atherton, J. S. (2005). Learning and Teaching: Conversational learning theory; Pask and Laurillard. Retrieved on 9 April 2009 from, http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/pask.htm Blair, M., Chisholm, C., Krause, R., Grunwald, N., Kesli, U., Tynjala, P., Tourunen, E., Madinabeita, M., & Sagasta-Errasti, P (2006) Mentoring, Facilitation and Coaching. Glasgow: Glasgow Caledonian University. Retrieved on 1/5/09 from http://www.icll.gcal.ac.uk/lifelearn/index.html Bokeno, R.M. (2009). Genus of learning relationships: mentoring and coaching as communicative interaction. Development and Learning in Organizations. VOL. 23 NO. 1 pp. 5-8 Bottery, M. & Wright, N. (2000). Teachers and the State: Towards a Directed Profession. London: Routledge Boydell, T. (1994). Modes and Learning Activities. Sheffield Business School: European Mentoring Centre Conference Brill, J., Kim, B., Galloway, C. (2001). Cognitive apprenticeships as an instructional model. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved on 1/5/09 from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/ Brookes, V. and Sikes, P. (1997). The Good Mentor Guide. Milton Keynes: Open University Press Brookes, V. (1996). Mentoring: The interpersonal dimension. Teacher Development, pp. 5-10 Buell, C. (2004). Models of mentoring in communication. Communication Education, 53, 56-73 Bullough, R.V. (2005). Teacher Vulnerability and Teachability: A Case Study of a Mentor and Two Interns. Teacher Education Quarterly, Spring 2005. pp23-39 - Retrieved on 25/3/09 from http://www.teqjournal.org/backvols/2005/32_2/07bullough.pdf Burgess, H. & Shelton Mayes, A. (2007) Supporting the professional development of teaching assistants: classroom teachers’ perspectives on their mentoring role. The Curriculum Journal. Vol. 18, No. 3, September 2007, pp. 389 – 407 Cain, T. (2009) Mentoring trainee teachers: how can mentors use research? Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning Vol. 17, No. 1, pp 53–66 Clarke, A., & Jarvis-Selinger, S. (2005). What the teaching perspective of cooperating teachers tell us about their advisory practices. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21(1), 65–78 Colley, H., Hodkinson, P. & Malcolm, J. (2003) Informality and formality in learning : a report for the Learning and Skills Research Centre. Leeds: Learning and Skills Network. Retrieved on 25/3/09 from https://www.lsneducation.org.uk/user/order.aspx?code=031492&src=xoweb Colley, H., Hodkinson, P. & Malcom, J. (2003) Informality and formality in learning: a summary report for the Learning and Skills Research Centre. Leeds: Lifelong Learning Institute University of Leeds Retrieved on 1/5/09 from http://www.lsneducation.org.uk/pubs/pages/031492.aspx Cox, E. (2003) The Contextual Imperative: Implications for coaching and mentoring. International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring Vol. 1, No. 1, Summer p 9-22 Cruess, S., Cruess R. R. L. & Steinert Y. (2008) Role modelling: making the most of a powerful teaching strategy. BMJ; vol 336; pp718-721 CUREE (n.d.) National Framework for Mentoring and Coaching. Retrieved on 1/5/09 from http://www.curee-paccts.com/mentoring-and-coaching Dreyfus, H.L., & Dreyfus, S.E. (1986). Mind over Machine, the Power of Human Intuition and Expertise in the Era of the Computer. Oxford: Basil Blackwell Edge J. (1993) A Framework for Feedback on Observation. IATEFL TT SIG Newsletter No. 10 (Winter 1993 / 1994) pp. 3 – 4 Edwards, A. & Protheroe, L. 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