About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5085-5090
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain

MENTOR WORKSHOP: BUILDING PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES AN AUSTRALIAN EXAMPLE

L. Uusimaki

Charles Sturt University (AUSTRALIA)
Positive relations between the university professional experience units and the schools that receive their pre-service teachers are crucial to developing quality educators fit for the teaching profession. This paper presents an overview of a mentor workshop that was introduced by the professional experience unit of a major regional university in Australia.
Ninety-one qualified classroom teachers from regional areas in NSW and Victoria (including Primary and High school Principals, Deputy Principals and Head Teachers) (76 female, 14 male) participated in five workshop programs between 24 July 2009, and 17 May 2010. The aim of the mentor workshop was to explore different ways and ideas about how to best meet the high (and growing) demand for professional experience placements and to explore classroom teachers’ concerns when supervising pre-service teachers and find ways to better support them in the supervisor role.

The lack of professional experience placements is becoming increasingly stressful “for both the preservice teacher who has not been placed (especially fee paying students) as well as for the professional experience staff responsible for the placement” (Jolley, 2011, p.1).
Mentoring is a complex role that requires the supervising teacher to model good teaching practice, stimulate reflection, be encouraging, provide counselling, and to provide constructive daily feedback to the preservice teacher (Crasborn, Hennisson, Brouwer, Korthagen, & Bergen 2008). Rodgers and Raider Roth (2006) argue that the establishment of quality relationships between the supervising teacher and the preservice teacher are crucial to academic achievement, motivation and engagement. From this perspective, “teaching demands connecting with students and their learning, and the health of that connection is nurtured or jeopardized by the teacher’s relationship to herself” (Rodgers & Raider Roth, 2006, p. 272), which in turn has been and is influenced by the cultural context of the school.

A ’relational-cultural’ theory based on the seminal work of Miller (1976) provides a particular relevant and useful framework where the development of a committed and positive teacher identity can be seen as dependent on growth-nurturing relations of mutual empowerment and empathy (Comstock, Hammer, Strentzsch, Cannon, Parsons & Salazar 2008). This positive relationship is not only with the self but also with those from within the teaching profession, including teacher educators, school supervising teachers, mentors and other significant persons. Understood in this context, the professional experience provides an enabling setting for learning. This makes it possible for supervising teachers to perceive themselves as members of a learning community with the responsibility of supporting and providing legitimate entry into the community for new members (Uusimaki, 2010).

Findings suggest that closer relations between the university professional experience staff, other university academics, and site-based educators were warranted to ensure the desired quality of supervision envisaged by all stakeholders. In addition the role that supervising teachers’ play in supporting pre-service teachers during professional experience is crucial to the development of the pre-service teacher’s professional teacher identity (Uusimaki, 2010).
@InProceedings{UUSIMAKI2013MEN,
author = {Uusimaki, L.},
title = {MENTOR WORKSHOP: BUILDING PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES AN AUSTRALIAN EXAMPLE},
series = {6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3847-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {5085-5090}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Uusimaki
TI - MENTOR WORKSHOP: BUILDING PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES AN AUSTRALIAN EXAMPLE
SN - 978-84-616-3847-5/2340-1095
PY - 2013
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2013
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2013 Proceedings
SP - 5085
EP - 5090
ER -
L. Uusimaki (2013) MENTOR WORKSHOP: BUILDING PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN SCHOOLS AND UNIVERSITIES AN AUSTRALIAN EXAMPLE, ICERI2013 Proceedings, pp. 5085-5090.
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