This symposium is the third part of a triple symposium, entitled “Practices of Mentoring”. In part 1, practices of mentoring in Australia, Finland, Norway and Hungary are studied within the theory of practice architecture. Part 2 introduces innovative practices for teacher induction which have been developed in the European PAEDIEA project. In part 3, chaired by Göran Fransson, the focus is shifted to using ICT in mentoring and problematizing the impact of teacher standards on mentoring practices.
The aim of the symposium is to contribute to a discussion of novice teachers’ professional development with the added dimension of mentoring in ICT-rich environments and the potential impact of teacher standards on those mentoring practices. This aim will be achieved by addressing the issue from different perspectives to get a broad picture of the challenges and opportunities. Questions that arise from the presentation include: What are the benefits of ICT as a medium to facilitate mentoring or learning to be a mentor? How does ICT as the learning object shape the mentoring practices? What is the potential risk of teacher standards fostering coaching rather than mentoring?
The symposium consists of four presentations. The first presentation focuses on mentoring teachers in Scotland who are inexperienced in ICT, and are implementing iPads into the classroom. The second paper examines a Norwegian mentor’s experiences of providing professional development using ICT (i.e. Facebook) as the medium to facilitate the mentoring practice. The third paper presents ICT as the mentoring medium in a mentoring course for the mentors of NQTs in Sweden. The final paper concludes with a comparative analysis of standards for the registration of teachers in Australia, Scotland and Sweden. A word frequency and contextual analysis problematise the teaching standards and their potential to promote coaching rather than mentoring.
These four papers contribute to the mentoring debates that focus on: the use of ICT, teaching ICT skills and the role of the teacher.Mentoring for newly qualified teachers is a common phenomenon in many countries and research on mentoring has been from a variety of perspectives. Considering the manifold of technological resources and social networking sites (SNS) currently available, an apparently under-researched topic is ICT in the mentoring of novice teachers – both as the content and as a medium for mentoring or mentor training.
The use of modern technologies to overcome distances in communication and mentoring has given rise to terms such as e-mentoring and online mentoring (Butler, Whiteman & Crow, 2012). Technology-enhanced mentoring can be used as a complement to face-to-face-mentoring but can also be used as the main communication source with its pros and cons for interaction (Butler et al., 2012). However, challenges to the mentoring practice are equally recognised: ICT changing the learning process (Alvarez, Guasch & Espasa, 2009; Helleve, 2007); and the impact of paralinguistic cues in body language being absent (Price, Richardson & Jelfs, 2007). Another issue presented for consideration is how mentoring takes place when the learning object is ICT. This kind of question has to been seen against the backdrop that an increasing number of researchers in recent years have stressed the importance of including subject-matter issues in the research of mentoring novice teachers (Ulvik, Smith & Helleve, 2009; Donna & Roehrig, 2011). It remains important to analyse how: the mentoring of novice teachers is facilitated by ICT; the practices of mentoring are enacted to teach ICT skills; and the potential influence teaching standards have in redefining mentoring into a coaching endeavour.
This project comprises examples from Australia, Scotland, Sweden and Norway, but it is also of key significance for many other countries where ICT and the mentoring of novice teachers may be used as a tool for professional development.
Alvarez, I., T. Guasch and A. Espasa. 2009. University teacher roles and competencies in online learning environments: a theoretical analysis of teaching and learning practices, European Journal of Teacher Education, 32(3), 321–336. Butler, A. J., Whiteman, R. S. & Crow, G. M. (2012). Technology’s role in fostering transformational educator mentoring. International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education 2( 3), 233-248. Donna, J.D. & Roehrig, G. (2011). Taxonomy of Beginning Science Teacher Challange: The Importance of Context-Specific Induction. Paper presented at The American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual conference, April 8 – April 12, New Orleans, USA. Helleve, I. 2007. In an ICT‐based teacher‐education context: why was our group ‘the magic group’?, European Journal of Teacher Education, 30:3, 267-284. Price, L., Richardson, J. T. & Jelfs, A. (2007). Face-to-face versus online tutoring support in distance education. Studies in Higher Education, 32(1), 1–20. Ulvik, M., Smith, K. & Helleve, I. (2009). Novice in secondary school – the coin has two sides. Teaching and Teacher Education 25 (2009) 835–842.
2015. 1104- p.
Mentoring, ICT, teacher, standards, professional development, symposia
ECER 2015, The European Conference on Educational Research, 'Education and Transition - Contributions from Educational Research', 8-11 september 2015, Corvinus University, Budapest, Bulgarien.