Coaching and Mentoring: Exploring Approaches to Professional Learning

Coaching and Mentoring: Exploring Approaches to Professional Learning

Coaching and Mentoring: Exploring Approaches to Professional Learning

Coaching and Mentoring: Exploring Approaches to Professional Learning

Synopsis

In the continuous drive for improvement in learning and achievement in schools, the development of teachers and of school leaders remains a major focus of policy. Alternative approaches to professional development have been introduced in the Scottish education system, including coaching, mentoring, and learning communities. The use of coaching and mentoring is evident at every level of teacher development, from the student teacher to the expert teacher, and from early leadership development to the sustaining of long serving head teachers. The idea of learning communities, where teachers work together, has been a recent addition to continuing teacher development, but there are few publications that examine the use of strategies such as coaching, mentoring, and learning communities. A critical appraisal of policy and practice in relation to continuing teacher development is the focus this book. The contributions cover policy, discuss conceptual analysis, and provide case studies. All examine the impact of various initiatives on coaching, mentoring, and learning communities in Scotland. The book provides a necessary and reflective resource for those working to develop their professional practice as teachers, as well as for those implementing and designing continuing professional development schemes and supporting probationary teachers. (Series: Policy & Practice in Education - No. 29)

Excerpt

Drawing from the international literature and more locally centred research and policy, this addition to the Policy and Practice in Education Series, coordinated and edited by the Series Editors, focuses on teacher professional learning and the contribution of coaching and mentoring. Substantial investment in the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of teachers is evident over the past twenty years, but CPD, while commonplace in the lives of teachers, remains problematic in terms of policy, purpose and practice. Three key interactive and mutually independent processes of professional practice – namely, reflection, enquiry and critique – are posited as fundamental to bringing together the essential features of the professional learning process. These essential features are highlighted as professional practice, dialogue and support between professionals, and as ideas or knowledge derived from theory, policy, research or the experience of fellow professionals. The potential of Coaching and Mentoring to the professional learning process is recognised. Coaching and Mentoring have emerged as key elements in a number of the ways, both individual and collective, in which professional learning is addressed. Examples are provided with respect to preparing to teach, teacher induction and early professional development, professional learning communities, and the preparation and development of school leaders by Margaret Martin, Mike Carroll and Deirdre Torrance – contributors engaged in the day-to-day realities of such provision underpinned by their extensive research experience.

Dr Jim O’Brien Professor Emeritus, The Moray House School of Education, The University of Edinburgh

Dr Christine Forde Professor of Leadership and Professional Learning, School of Education, The University of Glasgow

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