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Foundational theories of mentoring: Educative mentoring

In this article, Caroline Daly introduces Educative mentoring.
© UCL Institute of Education

Educative mentoring is based on a vision of teachers as learners and the classroom as a site of inquiry, and on collaborative principles that involve building knowledge together about teaching and learning. It facilitates the development of alternative beliefs and viewpoints alongside collecting and assessing high-quality evidence that is professionally relevant to the novice teacher.

A circle with four quadrants: teachers as learners, collaboration, high quality evidence, developing beliefs. Quadrants overlap rectangles with connected information, explained below. Diagram is within an oval titled: Vision of good teaching and learning

As you can see from the image above, there are four key components of educative mentoring. These are: teachers as learners; collaboration; high quality evidence; and developing beliefs. You can download this diagram as a .pdf at the bottom of this page.

Teachers as learners connects to classrooms as sites of enquiry, and problematising knowledge and practice.

Collaboration connects to co-planning, team teaching, post-lesson dialogue.

High quality evidence connects to classroom enquiry, reading, reflection.

Developing beliefs connects to alternative viewpoints and critical thinking.

Educative mentoring is the approach favoured in the second year of the UCL Early Career Teacher programme. It complements the practitioner inquiry approach to professional learning that is a key feature of the programme.

Optional exercises
If this model interests you, consider completing one or both of the exercises below.

Reading research exercise
Read this article by Julia Mackintosh (2020), which explains the collaborative principles that underpin educative mentoring. Who else in your school should read this article? Pass it on and suggest a discussion as part of professional development for mentors.

Reflective exercise
Look again at the model at the top of this page that shows the four key components of educative mentoring. Consider:

  1. What are the benefits for mentors of working in these ways?
  2. What already takes place in your school that can be built on to develop educative mentoring approaches?

You are now ready to move on to the next step.

© UCL Institute of Education
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