Academic journal article The Journal of Faculty Development

Faculty Development through Cognitive Coaching

Academic journal article The Journal of Faculty Development

Faculty Development through Cognitive Coaching

Article excerpt

THIS PAPER EXPLORES the process and outcomes of a faculty development project that used Cognitive Coaching as a peer mentoring strategy. Mentoring is well-recognized as an important tool in faculty development. Mentoring programs vary in elements of their design, such as objectives, roles, time, selection, matching, activities, resources, training, rewards, monitoring, and termination (Dawson, 2014). The literature recommends strategies that mentors should adopt (Foote & Solem, 2009), as well as characteristics that mentees should develop (Boice, 1992).

The traditional model of mentoring includes a hierarchical dyad of mentor and protégé or mentee (McCormack & West, 2006). Within this traditional model, an experienced faculty member works oneon-one with a new faculty member to support his or her career development. There is much evidence to support the benefits of the traditional model; faculty members with a mentor are reportedly more successful than those without one (Sorcinelli & Yun, 2007). Not only have mentoring relationships been found to increase productivity, they have also been found to provide a source of support and guidance and help reduce the isolation experienced by new faculty (Yun, Baldi, & Sorcinelli, 2016). While traditionally, new-career faculty have been assigned mentors within their own departments, researchers have also reported the success of intradepartmental mentoring by self-selected mentors (Troisi, LederElder, Stiegler-Balfour, Fleck, & Good, 2015).

Notwithstanding the many potential benefits of mentoring, researchers have also identified some of the barriers in existing mentoring models. Much of the research has focused on early-career faculty (Driscoll, Parks, Tilley-Lubbs, Brill, & Bannister, 2009; Friend & Gonzalez, 2009), but Rees and Shaw (2014) have pointed out the need for mentoring opportunities for mid-career faculty. Although the professional development needs of experienced faculty differ from those of their junior colleagues (Seldin, 2006), there are few mentoring groups tailored to the unique interests of each faculty member, and few are open to all regardless of rank (Fox, 2012). Thus, it appears the professional development needs of mid-career faculty members are often overlooked on college and university campuses (Huston & Weaver, 2008; Pastore, 2013).

Other researchers have pointed out yet another problem: the lack of mentoring support for women and faculty of color (Brayboy, 2003; Zambrana et al., 2015). This occurs in a larger context of mentoring process problems. Foote and Solem (2009) noted that, often, mentors receive very little training in how to mentor, and Mullen (2005) reported that mentor/mentee pairings are often incompatible. Finally, some faculty members have reported dissatisfaction with the contrived collegiality of some of the mentoring models that are implemented at universities (Hargreaves, 1994).

Given some of these limitations of a traditional one-on-one mentoring model, a new model of mu- tual mentoring has emerged that involves a professional network of mentors. Within this model, there is shared responsibility for mentoring; individuals build networks of mentors and collaborate with multiple mentoring partners (Sorcinelli & Yun, 2007). Sorcinelli and Yun have noted that such reciprocal relationships benefit both the mentor and the mentee, since all faculty have something to teach to and learn from each other. Similarly, other researchers have suggested that, given the complex nature of academic work, mentoring is most effective when undertaken by several colleagues rather that a single mentor (Mathews, 2003; Peluchette, & Jeanquart, 2000; van Emmerik, 2004).

Therefore, in searching for ways to create a supportive, inclusive academic community for all faculty, some institutions are now turning to peer mentoring or peer coaching models (Huston & Weaver, 2008). Yun et al. (2016) recently provided compelling data on the positive outcomes of the mutual mentoring model. …

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