New Directions in Mentoring: Creating a Culture of Synergy

New Directions in Mentoring: Creating a Culture of Synergy

New Directions in Mentoring: Creating a Culture of Synergy

New Directions in Mentoring: Creating a Culture of Synergy

Synopsis

Based upon action research, New Directions in Mentoring promotes the development of mentoring models. The contributors examine how the creative capacity of groups can be realized and used to improve teaching and teacher/student relationships.

Excerpt

This book is about paving walkways that matter. It is about bringing together those life forms that already exist in our schools and universities to create new partnerships. Our schools and universities are filled with the potential for promising collaboration at higher levels of integrity, creativity, and synergy. What is needed, then, are constructive ways to think about partnership and to link different professionals and their educational contexts. This book proposes that new forms of mentorship are needed in order for a partnership culture to develop in our lives. This book is, more specifically, about a recent innovation in mentoring theory and practice that was spearheaded at a school-university research site in Florida. It highlights the work of the Partnership Support Group (PSG) that was formed to tackle issues of mentoring, action research, writing, and publication across diverse faculty groups. This collaborative project brought together teachers, professors, administrators, and graduate students to study their own issues about and processes of mentoring. Participants conducted action research that resulted in this book on new directions for mentoring that support the creation of cultures of synergy. This book shows that guided learning and shared investigation promote the kind of scholarship that honors equality, voice, learning, representation, and fairness. We offer strategies for focusing on educator development (rather than teacher development) within professionally diverse collegial networks that support the new scholarship. Our professional story concludes with recommendations for conducting collaborative research within partnership contexts. Over the last 20 years research about teaching has been directed at teacher (rather than educator) development. Carter (1993), Clandinin and Connelly (1992), Elbaz (1983), and other teacher research proponents have led the way in promoting this new paradigm. Sleeter (1998) asks: Whose voice is heard in collaborative project settings designed to facilitate teacher thinking? This question implies that teachers’ voices may not be as fully developed or represented as they could be in the educational literature. Researchers may need to function as navigators to ensure that teachers’ voices are heard, at least in their own projects. This book asks: What practices invite and enable school practitioners to conduct collaborative research with university faculty and to benefit? More directly put, how might university researchers ensure that growth and benefits are realized by participants beyond the learning that is often a byproduct of research? Researchers . . .
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