Mentoring as professional development: ‘growth for both’ mentor and mentee
Teachers need professional development to keep current with teaching practices, although costs for extensive professional development can be prohibitive across an education system. Mentoring provides one way for embedding cost-effective professional development. This mixed-method study includes surveying mentor teachers (n = 101) on a five-part Likert scale and interviews with experienced mentors (n = 10) to investigate professional development for mentors as a result of the mentoring process. Quantitative data were analysed through a pedagogical knowledge framework and qualitative data were collated into themes. Survey data showed that although mentoring of pedagogical knowledge was variable, mentoring pedagogical knowledge practices occurs with the majority of mentors, which requires mentors to evaluate and articulate teaching practices. Qualitative data showed that mentoring acted as professional development and led towards enhancing communication skills, developing leadership roles (problem-solving and building capacity) and advancing pedagogical knowledge. Providing professional development to teachers on mentoring can help to build capacity in two ways: quality mentoring of preservice teachers through explicit mentoring practices, and reflecting and deconstructing teaching practices for mentors’ own pedagogical advancements.