Mentoring in-Service Teachers

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Anjum Halai in his article “Mentoring in-service teachers: Issues of role diversity” discusses the findings from a review of classroom-based action research reports collected from the masters students of an in-service teacher education programme offered by the Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development in Karachi, Pakistan. The reports were written by students, who played the roles of researchers and mentors at the same time, as they worked as mentors with teachers in a school, researched the process of mentoring and reported the findings. The researcher made a review reporting findings related to impact on schools and classrooms of new approaches to teacher development. According to Semeniuk & Worral (2000), ‘relationships which arise spontaneously and gradually allow teachers to enter more deeply into considering what it means to be teachers, to teach better, and to engage more fruitfully with students. Because these associations are more personally created, their likelihood of success may be greater. For these reasons, it might be wise to eschew ‘mentor’ as an all encompassing term and seek others, which might reflect how teachers help one another to become sophisticated professionals’ (p. 425). There are some major points stated by the researcher in the article. While the mentors started with teaching generic strategies the mentoring interactions were actually more subject focused, which appeared to be a common strand in the report implying that the mentors were perceived as subject specialist, i.e. they were expected to have a sound knowledge and understanding of the subject content. The participants whom the researcher-mentors worked with were mathematics teachers, because the mentors previous experience and expertise was in the area of mathematics teaching and learning, and this is where they would be expected to work with in their future
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