Peer mentoring : a model of professional development for experienced teacher pairs
A model using peer support in mentoring as a way of professional development was produced from an extensive literature search. It set out to suggest strategies to optimise the peer mentoring process between two experienced primary teachers in science teaching. The two year study subsequently collected data from 24 teachers, 12 of whom were participating in an in-service science programme. After one team five mentor pairs were selected as a research cohort for more detailed monitoring. Biographical and demographic information, views and beliefs about teaching and learning in science, and data about the research cohort teachers' understandings of mentoring, was collected. The data from the research cohort teachers' understandings of mentoring was compared with questionnaires from a sample of over 100 different primary and secondary teachers. The strategies and activities carried out by the research cohort teacher pairs was monitored through questionnaires, interviews, regular individual researcher/tutor-teacher mentoring meetings, periodic collective group meetings, teachers' logs and completed proformas and tape and video recordings.;Following the data collection and analysis the Framework used in the Project was reviewed and moderated. It was also found that access to a mentor increased the research cohort teachers' sense of well being and confidence to teach science. The implications of the study are that mentoring can be a manageable activity for some, self-selected teachers.