Mentoring for educators’ professional learning and development: A meta-synthesis of IJMCE volumes 1-4

Patricia Castanheira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of this paper: The author of this paper reviews and highlights key findings, themes and ideas from selected published academic papers on mentoring in education, with a specific focus on how mentoring can foster the professional learning and development of educators at all stages of their professional development. Design/methodology/approach: The author conducted a literature review of all the papers published in the International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, from volume 1, issue 1 (2012) to volume 4, issue 4 (2015), that contained the word "mentoring" in either the title, abstract and/or keywords and with a discussion of mentoring in the main text. In total, 37 papers were analysed in order to create a meta-synthesis of the primary findings. Findings: The findings present factors that foster mentoring success or failure. The purposes and components of mentoring programmes are diverse and contextually bound. Additionally, there is a tendency to view mentoring as a developmental relationship in which the mentor shares knowledge and expertise to support the mentee's learning and professional development. Research limitations/implications (optional): As this meta-synthesis literature review is focused on articles published in a single journal on mentoring, it has limited scope. However, the range of countries in which the authors of the reviewed empirical studies reside (13 countries), and the diversity of papers included in this review allowed the author to summarize and synthesize unique information for researchers and practitioners who are seeking to understand the process, outcomes and issues related to mentoring for the professional development of educators. Practical implications (optional): The review provides information for those seeking to study and implement mentoring programmes. It focuses on mentoring for professional development of educators, identifies primary concepts in the literature reviewed and highlights new research areas in mentoring in education. Social implications (optional): What is original/value of paper: This literature review discusses mentoring definitions from 37 different papers and contributes important knowledge to produce a picture of the intricacy of mentoring. Complex issues linked with mentoring are addressed, generating a critical systematization of mentoring research likely to have a lasting influence in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-346
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Author accepted manuscript, 26.09.2016: Castanheira, P. (2016). “Mentoring for
educators’ professional learning and development: a meta-synthesis of IJMCE
volumes 1-4”, International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol.5,
No.4, pp. 334-346


  • Mentoring
  • Career development
  • Mentoring in education
  • Professional development
  • Educator well-being
  • Preparation of school teachers
  • Teacher well-being


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