Inquire: Mentoring- What is all the fuss

Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximize their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.” (Parsloe)  In a rapidly changing work environment, the need for continuous learning is growing.

Employers require more and more flexibility, both technical and soft skills along with increasing credentials from their employees; as well employers are looking to workplace learning as a tool for skill development and reflection.  In order for employees to navigate this somewhat abstract landscape of workplace learning, one way this learning is taking place is that   mentor relationships are occurring among colleagues.

“Mentoring relationships that promote collaborative inquiry, cooperative practice and reflection are fundamental to workplace learning for beginning teachers that moves beyond the transmission of past and existing practice. Collaborative endeavours between schools and universities are also central to effective workplace learning for teachers.” (Carter, p. 260)

This can also be accomplished in  a professional learning community, or PLC, which is a group of educators that meets regularly, shares expertise, and works collaboratively to improve teaching skills and the academic performance of students. The term is also applied to schools or teaching faculties that use small-group collaboration as a form of professional development .  (Retrieved from  http://edglossary.org/professional-learning-community)

References: 

Carter, M., & Francis, R. (2001). Mentoring and Beginning Teachers’ Workplace Learning. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 29(3), 249-262. doi:10.1080/13598660120091856

Parsloe, Eric; The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring retrieved from http://www.mentorset.org.uk/pages/mentoring.htm

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