Mentoring In The Lifelong Learning Sector: Implementation or
Mentoring In The Lifelong Learning Sector: Implementation or Improvisiation Dr Ewan Ingleby & Jonathan Tummons: Teesside University V Asclepius Greek God of Healing Hippocrates Greek Physician (460-377 BC)
The UK Educational Context? We eat, we drink, we play silly games and pursue unattainable objectives. Meanwhile our ship sails aimlessly and we never reach the harbour Bosch (1490) I did get a very fine education, and not just in science. It took some pressure on the part of my elders to convince me that
I really should take an interest in humanities. Estelle Morris, (Former Secretary of State for Education and Skills, 2001-2002) The Ship of Fools: Hieronymus Bosch Research Objectives Identify the CPD (Continuing Professional Development) needs of a sample of PostCompulsory Initial Teacher Training (PCET ITT) mentors.
Analyse the understanding of CPD that these mentors have formed. Critically review the current nature of CPD experienced by these mentors. Research Process Application of Richardsons (2000, 2004) methodological concept crystallisation Crystallisation I propose that the central object of validity for postmodern texts is not the triangle, a rigid, fixed,
two-dimensional object. Rather, the central imaginary is the crystal, which combines symmetry and substance with an infinite variety of shapes, substances, transmutations, multidimensionalities and angles of approach. Richardson (2000, p.934) Merits of Crystallisation The research process enables reflexivity. There is the application of Gadamers (2004) hermeneutics by placing what Urban (2008, p.146) refers to as the way we are in the world
(ontology) before the constitution of warranted knowledge (epistemology). This enables an acceptance of difference, diversity, and the messiness of human life rather than seeking, in the first instance, to resolve it (Schwandt, 2004, p.40). Where has the data come from? Funding from ESCalates Developing Pedagogy and Practice Research Grant. Questionnaire data from 80 mentors and 80 ITT students.
Focus group data from eight programme staff. Tutor/student written/verbal reflections on the mentoring process. This data was collected from 2004-2010. Two key findings 1. PCET ITT mentors are unsure of their role in relation to PCET ITT programmes. 2. Mentor training needs within PCET ITT are not currently being met due to the inconsistency of the current available training.
Respondent reflections on the role of the mentor If you think about it, teaching hasnt changed significantly over time. The basics are still the same. We may have new technology and we also may see some challenges to our authority but the basics are still the same. With mentoring its a different matter altogether. I find it hard to see where mentoring has come from and who is initiating the mentoring role. It might be a good way of reflecting on professional practice but it is shrouded in uncertainty.
(Colin, an experienced mentor). Respondent reflections on mentor training I also find it difficult to see where mentoring has come from. I certainly havent had any worthwhile training. It seems to have been introduced without having been fully thought through. If all we do (as mentors) is support colleagues, why does this have to be formalised? Informal mentoring has probably been part of teaching for many years. At times, the teaching profession appears to be capable
of introducing all sorts of tick the box initiatives that can mushroom into policies overnight. (Marie, a new mentor) What is being revealed? Hippocratic CPD Ways of Being (Professional Practice) Urban (2008, p147)
Ways of Knowing (Professional Standards) Implications for CPD Mentors are unsure of their professional role. This aspect of professionalism reinforces what Urban (2008, p.135) refers to as a hierarchical mode of producing and applying expert knowledge that is not necessarily appropriate to professional practice. The mentoring process is controlled by awarding bodies like SVUK (Standards Verification UK) and LLUK (Lifelong Learning UK).
The mentoring process ought to be based on enabling the academic curricula to meet professional needs. This is more likely to occur if the stakeholders involved with the process (teachers, learners, parents and policy makers) are enabled to shape programme developments. This would make the CPD process more Asclepian and less Hippocratic. The Asclepian Ideal Ways of Being (Professional Practice)
+ Ways of Knowing (Professional Standards) = The Mentoring Process References Downie, R., and F. Randall. 1999. Palliative care ethics: a companion for all specialities. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Gadamer, H.G., Weinsheimer, J., and Marshall, D.G., 2004. Truth and method. London: Continuum. Richardson, L., 2000. New writing practices in qualitative
research. Sociology of Sports Journal, 17, 520. Richardson, L., 2004. Travels with Ernest: crossing the literary/sociological divide. Lanham, MD.: AltaMira Press. Schwandt, T.A., 2004. Hermeneutics: a poetics of inquiry versus a methodology for research. In: H. Piper and I. Stronach, eds. Educational research : difference and diversity. Aldershot: Ashgate, 31-44. Urban, M., 2008. Dealing with uncertainty: challenges and possibilities for the early childhood profession. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 16, 135-152.
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