IATEFL-Hungary Mentor SIG


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Training programmes for mentors do good – Article review by Petra Krasser

Reviewed:

Frank Casborn, Paul Hennissen, Niels Brouwer, Fred Korthagen, and Theor Bergen (2008) Promoting versatility in mentor teachers’ use of supervisory skills. Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol. 24,  No. 3, 499-514.

Promoting versatility in mentor teachers’ use of supervisory skills was written in 2007 when the shift had already taken place in viewing mentor’s role as an encourager as opposed to the daily advisor and instructor role. The starting point of the article is that student teachers’ professional growth can be triggered by promoting reflection. The study intended to find out whether and how the effect of mentor training on supervisory skills used for promoting reflection in student teachers manifested in mentoring dialogues. Thirty mentors’ two dialogues were video recorded, within one month before and after a so called SMART training. Continue reading

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The novice as a collaborator – Article review by Anna Szegedy-Maszák

Reviewed:

Alison Fuller and Lorna Unwin (2004) Young people as teachers and learners in the workplace: challenging the novice-expert dichotomy. International Journal of Training and Development, Vol.8, 32-42.

In the article entitled Young people as teachers and learners in the workplace: challenging the novice-expert dichotomy the authors Alison Fuller and Lorna Unwin present insights into how people interact as ‘teachers’ and ‘learners’ in the workplace. The findings are based on research involving apprentices and experienced workers in four UK companies with differing organisational characteristics and apprentice schemes. The paper proposes that learning in the workplace is no longer a linear journey of the apprentice facilitated by the ‘expert’, as described by situated learning theory. Continue reading


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Alleviating anxiety during feedback – Article review by Vera Tóth

Reviewed:

Fiona Copland (2010) Causes of tension in post-observation feedback in pre-service teacher training: An alternative view . Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol. 23, No. 3., 466-472.

In her article Fiona Copland summarizes the findings of her research conducted in Britain with the participation of 4 trainers and 9 trainees about the reasons for trainees’ anxiety during post-lesson discussions.

She reports that many researchers attribute this anxiety to two conflicting roles of the trainer, which are the development role and the assessment role. They refer to the assymetric power relations inherent in feedback situations which often lead to trainee resistance, lack of clarity and trainer dominance. Copland acknowledges the suggestions that have been made to help prevent this tension, e.g. by a more transparent evaluative process, or assigning the two roles to two different trainers.

However, the point she would like to prove is that the tension student teachers experience during post –lesson discussion does not necessarily arise from the incompatibility of the development role and the assessement role, but from another cause, the difference in expectation among trainers and trainees about the purpose and performance of feedback. If the trainees do not understand or accept the rules they must play by, this causes their discomfort and resistance. Continue reading


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The psychological needs of student teachers – Article review by Ágnes Dunai

Reviewed:

Frists Evelein, Fred Korthagen and Mieke Brekelmans (2008) Fulfilment of the basic psychological needs of student teachers during their first teaching experience. Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol. 24, No. 5, 1137-1148.

Three researchers, Frists Evelein, Fred Korthagen and Mieke Brekelmans  from Utrecht University, the Netherlands, studied a field in which little research had been done before, namely the ’Fulfilment of the basic psychological needs of student teachers during their first teaching experience’. The primary aim of the study is to see what the average level of need fulfilment is during the first teaching experience and how it changes during the teaching practice, and whether it has connection with the classes, lessons and teacher’s personality. Continue reading


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Practical experience, reflection and theory in teacher education – Article review by Balázs Dávid Palkó

Reviewed:

Fred A. J. Korthagen (2010) Situated learning theory and the pedagogy of teacher education: Towards an integrative view of teacher behaviour and teacher learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26, 98-106.

The article’s starting point is that the theory presented in teacher education has very little impact on the actual practice of the teachers. The aim of the article is to reconcile the situated learning theory (’I experience, therefore I learn:’ learning emerges from our own actions in relation to those of others) with the traditional cognitive theory (transmission of knowledge). Continue reading


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Tools for eliciting experienced teachers’ practical knowledge – Article review by Regina Fülöp

Reviewed:

Paulien C. Meijer, Anneke Zanting and Nico Verloop (2002)  How can student teachers elicit experienced teachers’ pratical knowledge? Tools, suggestions and significance. Journal of Teacher education, Vol.53. No. 5., 406-419.

The article describes two tools implemented in teacher education in order to help student teachers elicit their mentor teacher’s practical knowledge: the stimulated recall interview and concept mapping.

The authors stress the importance of such tools, as student teachers, while observing their mentors, tend to require ready-made tips and rules as well as to copy their mentor’s teaching style, without looking into what’s behind. Student teachers often focus on the ‘how’ instead of the ‘why’. It is essential that a mentor is no only a supporter, but also an articulator of practical knowledge for their students. Continue reading


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Mentoring: Benefits, potential limitations, and conditions for its effectiveness Part III – Article review by Myrtill Lenkefi

Reviewed:

Hobson, A. J. , Ashby,  P.,  Malderez, A., Tomlinson,  P. D. (2009) Mentoring beginner teachers: What we know and what we don’t know. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25, 207-216.

This article was published in 2008 and its aim was to summarize in a clearly structured short form the findings of the past two decades on how one-to-one mentoring works with beginning teachers in their first 3 years of teaching. The evidence base of the authors is a systematically selected material of 170 texts (journal articles, books, conference papers etc.). There are two Hungarian names in the index of this material, Bodóczky and Medgyes. Continue reading