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Title: An exploration of peer-mentoring among student teachers to inform reflective practice within the context of action research
Author: Arday, Jason
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 2047
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2015
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In recent decades, reflective practice and mentoring have become vehicles for endorsing professional development and competency among student teachers during their induction into the teaching profession. This research study aims to explore the extent to which peer-mentoring can inform reflective practice among student teachers within a community of practice. The mentoring concepts illuminated within this study suggest a move away from hierarchical expert-novice approaches towards mentoring, in exchange for more reciprocal endeavour where power dynamics are removed and both participants become equal receivers and disseminators of knowledge regarding teaching and learning. A qualitative approach was employed through a four-phase, sequential data collection strategy to gather the narrative data collated. Interviews, reflective pro-formas, workshops and open-ended questionnaires were used as instruments to collate narrative data concerning the peer-mentoring experiences of four student teachers. The data was analysed utilising an interpretive phenomenological analysis approach. The student teachers involved in this study were selected from a purposive sample. Importantly, the participants selected demonstrated professional characteristics which resonated with the aims of this study. A conceptual framework was designed to capture and examine six dimensions of collaborative mentoring in which student teachers could explore aspects of their own teaching practice through action research. The findings generated within the study point towards a range of contexts and challenges concerning peer-mentoring. The findings revealed that the mentoring dimensions used to stimulate meaningful reflection influenced professional development, while the challenges presented issues concerning; trust, power and time. However, the findings also indicate that challenges to peer-mentoring are not insurmountable. This particular study contends that further research is recommended into: firstly, how educational institutions can create supportive, collaborative learning cultures; secondly, how can reflective practice be encouraged throughout professional teaching careers; and finally, how can the challenges of peer-mentoring be minimised in attempting to encourage such endeavour among student teachers.
Supervisor: Vickerman, Philip Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mentoring ; peer-mentoring ; reflective practice ; collaborative learning ; communities of practice ; learning communities ; collaborative endeavour ; student teachers