Mentoring substructures and superstructures

an extension and reconceptualisation of the architecture for teacher mentoring

Andrew J Hobson, Bronwen Maxwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper arises out of an empirical investigation of the validity of Cunningham’s (2007) thesis that the effectiveness of teacher mentoring is enhanced by a supportive institutional framework comprising eight ‘architectural design features’. It draws upon analyses of data from a mixed methods study of mentoring in the English Further Education sector. Data were generated via 40 semi-structured interviews with teachers, mentors and other stakeholders, and a national online survey of teachers of all subjects/vocational areas, completed by 392 respondents across all nine regions of England. The paper presents a reconceptualisation of the architecture for mentoring which encompasses both a mentoring substructure and superstructure. Cunningham’s institutional architecture (reconceptualised as a mentoring substructure) is extended through the identification of additional design features, while limitations of the concept of an institutional mentoring architecture are exposed and evidence presented to show that a complementary superstructure is a necessary additional means of seeking to achieve optimally effective mentoring. A new research agenda is proposed to explore the extent to which the proposed mentoring substructure and superstructure are applicable in different professional and international contexts, and to identify common features of optimally supportive mentoring superstructures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Education for Teaching
Volume46
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 10 Sep 2019

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mentoring
teacher
further education
online survey
stakeholder
interview
evidence

Keywords

  • Teacher mentoring
  • Further Education
  • mentoring architecture
  • mentoring substructure

Cite this

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abstract = "This paper arises out of an empirical investigation of the validity of Cunningham’s (2007) thesis that the effectiveness of teacher mentoring is enhanced by a supportive institutional framework comprising eight ‘architectural design features’. It draws upon analyses of data from a mixed methods study of mentoring in the English Further Education sector. Data were generated via 40 semi-structured interviews with teachers, mentors and other stakeholders, and a national online survey of teachers of all subjects/vocational areas, completed by 392 respondents across all nine regions of England. The paper presents a reconceptualisation of the architecture for mentoring which encompasses both a mentoring substructure and superstructure. Cunningham’s institutional architecture (reconceptualised as a mentoring substructure) is extended through the identification of additional design features, while limitations of the concept of an institutional mentoring architecture are exposed and evidence presented to show that a complementary superstructure is a necessary additional means of seeking to achieve optimally effective mentoring. A new research agenda is proposed to explore the extent to which the proposed mentoring substructure and superstructure are applicable in different professional and international contexts, and to identify common features of optimally supportive mentoring superstructures.",
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Mentoring substructures and superstructures : an extension and reconceptualisation of the architecture for teacher mentoring. / Hobson, Andrew J; Maxwell, Bronwen.

In: Journal of Education for Teaching, Vol. 46, No. 2, 2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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AB - This paper arises out of an empirical investigation of the validity of Cunningham’s (2007) thesis that the effectiveness of teacher mentoring is enhanced by a supportive institutional framework comprising eight ‘architectural design features’. It draws upon analyses of data from a mixed methods study of mentoring in the English Further Education sector. Data were generated via 40 semi-structured interviews with teachers, mentors and other stakeholders, and a national online survey of teachers of all subjects/vocational areas, completed by 392 respondents across all nine regions of England. The paper presents a reconceptualisation of the architecture for mentoring which encompasses both a mentoring substructure and superstructure. Cunningham’s institutional architecture (reconceptualised as a mentoring substructure) is extended through the identification of additional design features, while limitations of the concept of an institutional mentoring architecture are exposed and evidence presented to show that a complementary superstructure is a necessary additional means of seeking to achieve optimally effective mentoring. A new research agenda is proposed to explore the extent to which the proposed mentoring substructure and superstructure are applicable in different professional and international contexts, and to identify common features of optimally supportive mentoring superstructures.

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