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Fostering Professional Learning Through Evidence-Informed Mentoring Dialogues in School Settings

Chapter in book
Authors Jeana Kriewaldt
Melanie Nash
Sally Windsor
Jane Thornton
Catherine Reid
Published in Kriewaldt J., Ambrosetti A., Rorrison D., Capeness R. (eds) Educating Future Teachers: Innovative Perspectives in Professional Experience. Springer, Singapore
ISBN 978-981-10-5483-9
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies
Language en
Keywords Mentoring; Conversation; Dialogue; Teacher reflection; Relational agency; Professional experience; Practicum 
Subject categories Pedagogical Work, Learning, Didactics

Abstract

This chapter examines how the use of a descriptive observation tool mediates post-lesson conversations that teacher educators and mentor teachers have with preservice teachers. Our principal focus was to investigate the effects of the use of evidence-informed lesson observations in combination with a dialogic approach, as the basis for feedback on teaching practice and student learning. An interpretive case study approach was designed to investigate how mentor teachers and teacher educators used the observation tool. The findings provided data about the effects the tool had on the dispositions of the participants towards collecting and interrogating classroom evidence and how these impacted on their post-lesson conversations with preservice teachers. Preliminary findings suggested that some mentor teachers found it difficult to use description rather than judgement when discussing teaching and learning. This diminished opportunities for the construction and interrogation of professional reasoning in post-lesson discussions. Later findings, however, indicated that the use of the descriptive observation tool for the recording of evidence-informed observations fostered an inquiring and collaborative stance in post-lesson reviews. Collaborations of this nature, between mentor teachers and preservice teachers, provided the preservice teachers with greater agency during the professional dialogue and enhanced their capacity to reflect on their teaching.

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