Tailoring mentoring for new mathematics and science teachers: An exploratory study
Social Science Press
David Barlow (Rights and Permissions)
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education
This paper explores some aspects of effective professional mentoring practice for early career mathematics and science teachers, and discusses the Early Support Program (ESP), a research project conducted in 2009 and 2010 at a large Australian metropolitan university. It is argued that better outcomes may result from a more strategic “tailoring” of mentoring “type” for different aspects of new teacher induction, especially as school-based mentors often have insufficient time or training to support them. The ESP has been trialling its more “distanced” mentoring model, tracking the issues that a group of new teachers chose to discuss with their mentors, and exploring this further through focus groups and case studies. The project has indicated that more flexible, off-campus mentoring assistance may serve some needs particularly well, and that it may also alleviate the pressure placed upon teachers in schools. A secondary aim of the ESP research was to prepare an appropriate resource for teachers, based on its findings, and this has now been done.