Explicating Practical Knowledge: an extension of mentor teachers’ roles

  • Published on
    13-Apr-2017

  • View
    214

  • Download
    2

Embed Size (px)

Transcript

  • This article was downloaded by: [Florida International University]On: 19 December 2014, At: 07:58Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

    European Journal of TeacherEducationPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/cete20

    Explicating Practical Knowledge: anextension of mentor teachers rolesAnneke Zanting , Nico Verloop , Jan D. Vermunt & Jan H. VanDrielPublished online: 06 Jul 2006.

    To cite this article: Anneke Zanting , Nico Verloop , Jan D. Vermunt & Jan H. Van Driel (1998)Explicating Practical Knowledge: an extension of mentor teachers roles, European Journal ofTeacher Education, 21:1, 11-28, DOI: 10.1080/0261976980210104

    To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0261976980210104

    PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE

    Taylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (theContent) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis,our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoeveras to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Anyopinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of theauthors, and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracyof the Content should not be relied upon and should be independently verifiedwith primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for anylosses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and otherliabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connectionwith, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content.

    This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Anysubstantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub-licensing,systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly forbidden.Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions

    http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/cete20http://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.1080/0261976980210104http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0261976980210104http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditionshttp://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions

  • European Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 21, No. 1, 1998 11

    Explicating Practical Knowledge: an extension ofmentor teachers' roles

    ANNEKE ZANTING, NICO VERLOOP, JAN D. VERMUNT &JAN H. VAN DRIEL

    SUMMARY This article provides an overview of various models and interpretations ofmentoring and focuses on a somewhat neglected aspect of mentoring: the explication of mentorteachers' practical knowledge as a contribution to student teachers' learning to teach. From thatperspective, research on mentoring is related to research on teachers' knowledge. The centralquestions addressed in this article are: (a) What role can the explication of practical knowledgeby mentor teachers play in helping student teachers learn to teach?, and (b) How can practicalknowledge be made explicit during mentoring? Although the difficulties involved in elicitingmentor teachers' practical knowledge are recognised, several opportunities for realising this goalare described. Finally, some preconditions for the exploration of mentor teachers' practicalknowledge by student teachers and suggestions for further research are discussed.

    RSUM Cet article donne un aperu des diffrentes interprtations et modles de momtoratpdagogique et se concentre sur un aspect du monitorat pdagogique assez nglig: l'explicationdes connaissances pratiques du moniteur en tant que contribution l'apprentissage parl'apprenti enseignant lui-mme. Les questions principales poses dans cet article sont: (a) Quelrle peut jouer l'explication des connaissances pratiques par les tuteurs pdagogiques aider lesapprentis enseignants dans leur processus d'apprentissage?, et (b) Comment peut on expliciterces connaissances pratiques pendant la priode du monitorat? Bien que les difficults montrerles connaissances pratiques des tuteurs pdagogiques soient reconnues, plusieurs moyens deraliser ce but seront dcrits. Finalement, quelques prconditions pour l'exploration des connais-sances pratiques des tuteurs pdagogiques par les apprentis enseignants seront discutes et dessuggestions pour des recherches ultrieures seront proposes galement.

    RESUMEN Este estudio ofrece una sintesis de varios modelos e interpretaciones de la actua-cin del mentor y se fija especialmente en un aspecto relativamente descuidado: la explicacinde los conocimientos prcticos de los que dispone el mentor y la contribucin de los mismos ala formacin que recibe el joven profesor en su periodo de aprendizaje. Desde esta perspectiva,los estudios dedicados a la funcin del mentor se relacionan con las investigaciones centradasen los conocimientos docentes del profesor. Las preguntas centrales que se plantean en este estudioson: (a) Qu papel puede desempear, en terminos de ayuda el profesor en formacin, el que

    0261-9768/98/1/01011-18 1998 Association for Teacher Education in Europe

    Dow

    nloa

    ded

    by [

    Flor

    ida

    Inte

    rnat

    iona

    l Uni

    vers

    ity]

    at 0

    7:58

    19

    Dec

    embe

    r 20

    14

  • 12 Anneke Zanting et al.

    se expliquen los conocimientos prcticos del mentor y (b) De qu manera pueden formularseexplicitamente estos conocimientos en los momentos en que el mentor desarrolla su actividad?Si bien es verdad que se reconocen las dificultades que acarrea el proceso de explicitacin deestos conocimientos prcticos en torno a la funcin del mentor, se describen varias posibilidadesde conseguir estos objetivos. Finalmente, se discuten varias condiciones previas al momento enque los profesores en formacin puedan explorar los conocimientos prcticos del mentor, al igualque varias sugerencias de temas de investigacin relacionados.

    ZUSAMMENFASSUNG Dieser Aufsatz bietet eine bersicht ber unterschiedliche Modelle undInterpretationen der Praktikantenbegleitung ('mentoring') und befat sich mit einemeinigermaen vernachlssigten Aspekt von 'mentoring': der Darlegung praktischen Fachwis-sens des Mentors als einem Beitrag zum Lernen des Praktikanten. Aus dieser Sicht ist dieErforschung der Praktikantenbegleitung aufs engste mit der Erforschung von Fachwissenverbunden. Der vorliegende Artikel stellt folgende Fragen in den Mittelpunkt: (a) Welche Rollekann die Darlegung von Fachwissen durch den Mentor in der Begleitung von Praktikantenspielen? (b) Wie kann Fachwissen im Verlauf des Praktikums explizitiert werden? Obwohl dieSchwierigkeiten im Hervorrufen von Fachwissen des Mentors allgemein erkannt werden,kommen hier unterschiedliche Anstze zur Erlangung dieses Ziels zur Sprache. Schlielichwerden einige Grundbedingungen fr die Untersuchung von Fachwissen des Mentors durchPraktikanten, sowie weitere Forschungsvorschlge diskutiert.

    Introduction

    Practice teaching is considered an essential part of teacher training. Although there aregreat differences between the various practical training courses, such as the amount oftime spent at the school where the student teaching takes place, the teaching activities,and the supervision and organisation of the practical training, they are all based on theassumption that prospective teachers can and should learn from experience. This beliefis generally shared by teacher educators, practicing teachers, and prospective teachers(Watts, 1987). Prospective teachers generally take the view that the practical training isthe most important part of their teacher training because it provides them withopportunities for actual teaching and, according to them, real learning (Calderhead,1988;Franke&Dahlgren, 1996; Johnston, 1994;McNamara, 1995). Correspondingly,practicing teachers also stress the value of practical training for the preparation ofprospective teachers (Applegate, 1987; Calderhead, 1988; Cochran-Smith, 1991; Ko-erner, 1992; Lanier & Little, 1986). Although university supervisors have been con-cerned about the conservative effects of practice teaching (Zeichner & Tabachnick,1981) and researchers take the view that practical training does not guarantee that thestudent teacher will learn to teach (Feiman-Nemser & Buchmann, 1987; Johnston,1994), few will deny that it certainly provides prospective teachers with learningopportunities.

    To facilitate student teachers' learning during their practical training, they aresupervised by 'mentor teachers'. In this article, all the mentor teachers' activities,attitudes, and other aspects of their mentorship aimed at assisting student teachersduring their practical training are identified with the term 'mentoring'. In spite of thefact that 'mentoring' is also used to refer to the assistance given to first-year certifiedteachers, the focus of this article is on the support provided to student teachers duringtheir pre-service teacher training.

    Dow

    nloa

    ded

    by [

    Flor

    ida

    Inte

    rnat

    iona

    l Uni

    vers

    ity]

    at 0

    7:58

    19

    Dec

    embe

    r 20

    14

  • Explicating Practical Knowledge 13

    Mentoring is a topic of current interest in the field of teacher education, both inpractice and research. However, the phenomenon of mentoring has not yet been clearlyconceptualised: many definitions of the concept can be found in the literature andvarious models have been proposed (Mclntyre & Hagger, 1994; Mclntyre, Hagger &Wilkin, 1994). This concept has remained vague because, on the one hand, bothresearchers and mentor teachers are just developing an understanding of mentoring andof mentor teachers' contributions to student teachers' learning (Bush et al, 1996;Edwards & Collison, 1995; Feiman-Nemser & Beasley, 1996). On the other hand, itseems impossible to formulate a standard definition of mentoring, as mentor teachersinterpret their own roles individually and therefore the nature of mentoring is idiosyn-cratic. First of all, mentor teachers' personal conceptions of mentoring result indifferent forms of mentoring (Franke & Dalgren, 1996; Martin, 1997; Wildman et al,1992). In addition, mentoring is highly contextualised and influenced by the expecta-tions of schools, teacher education institutes, and student teachers. As Feiman-Nemser& Parker (1993) stated, "... different forms of mentoring emerge in different contexts.Formal expectations, working conditions, selection, and preparation all create a set ofconstraints and opportunities that shape how mentors define and enact their role"(p. 716).

    In spite of the variety of definitions and interpretations of the concept of mentoring,a rather general description can be given. In line with recent contributions in the fieldof mentoring (Edwards & Collison, 1996; Feiman-Nemser & Beasley, 1996; Tomlin-son, 1995), in this article, we consider mentoring as assisting student teachers to learnto teach. Although this approach can include a wide range of mentor teachers'activities, it implies a specific role for mentor teachers. Student teachers are lookedupon primarily as 'learners' of teaching rather than 'performers' of teaching. Theirinitial goal is not to teach 'correctly', but to learn from their teaching experiences byplanning, giving, and analysing lessons and by thinking through and consideringalternative possibilities. Supporting these activities requires mentor teachers to haveskills that are not automatically the same as 'good' teaching skills (Kremer-Hayon,1995).

    When describing the mentor teacher's role as above, the question is then what arethe specific functions of the mentor teachers and what activities must they undertake.In the next section, some more or less prescriptive models of mentoring, intended as aresource for mentoring practice, will be described. This will be followed by somedescriptive models and interpretations of mentoring derived from empirical data. Basedon these descriptions of mentoring practice, we will conclude that one aspect ofmentoring, the explication of mentor teachers' knowledge of learning and teaching inthe presence of their student teachers, has been largely ignored. We will explain whythis knowledge, which we term 'practical knowledge', is hard to put into words. We willthen address the central questions: (a) What role can the explication of practicalknowledge by mentor teachers play in helping student teachers learn to teach?, and (b)How can practical knowledge be made explicit during mentoring? The first questionwill be answered by discussing four functions of the explication of mentor teachers'practical knowledge in student teachers' learning to teach. In the subsequent section,we will go into the second question by describing several possible ways to articulatementor teachers' practical knowledge. In the discussion section, we discuss somepreconditions that have to be fulfilled in order to involve the articulated practicalknowledge of mentor teachers in student teachers' learning. We close with suggestionsfor further research.

    Dow

    nloa

    ded

    by [

    Flor

    ida

    Inte

    rnat

    iona

    l Uni

    vers

    ity]

    at 0

    7:58

    19

    Dec

    embe

    r 20

    14

  • 14 Anneke Zanting et al.

    Mentor Teachers' Roles

    Maynard & Furlong (1994) examined the literature on the role of mentor teachers anddistinguished three models of mentoring: the apprenticeship model, the competencymodel and the reflective model. They argued that these models should be successivelyapplied in teacher education, adjusted to the student teachers' stage of development. Atthe start of practice teaching, student teachers can learn from observing their mentorteachers, who fulfil the role of interpreters and models. Then student teachers have todevelop teaching skills through systematic training with the mentor teachers as instruc-tors. Gradually, reflection on their teaching experiences enters with the mentor teachersas co-enquirers.

    Two major roles of the mentor teacher, 'the reflective coach' and 'the effectivefacilitator', were distinguished by Tomlinson (1995). The reflective coach fulfils thementor functions that are involved in assisting the development of teaching andreflection skills. In addition, mentor teachers stimulate student teachers' motivationand commitment. According to Tomlinson, mentoring always includes a counsellingaspect, which is part of the role of effective facilitator.

    Feiman-Nemser & Parker (1993) specified two goals of mentoring that can easily betransformed into terms of mentor roles. Mentor teachers have to help develop 'good'teachers and, at the same time, have to support the entry of student teachers into theteaching profession. The first goal is assessment-oriented and seems comparable to thereflective coach role described by Tomlinson (1995). The second goal is assistance-ori-ented and parallels the role of effective facilitator. Both aspects of a mentor teacher'srole, being evaluative and supportive, can be an area of tension for mentor teachers.Daloz's model of mentoring (in Martin, 1996) claims that stud...

Recommended

View more >