Module 5 links with the following sections of the National Mentor Standards:
Standard 1: personal qualities
- Use appropriate challenge to encourage the student teacher to reflect on their practice.
Standard 2: teaching
- Enable and encourage the student teacher to evaluate and improve their teaching through reflective practice
Standard 3: professionalism
- Support the student teacher to consider how to respond to challenging ethical issues that teachers might encounter.
Being a reflective practitioner
Through this module, you will consider the following within the context of the school in which you work:
- Are you able to be a reflective practitioner and model this behaviour to your student teachers?
- Can you reflect on when you have done this, and how it helped student teachers to see their own practice in a different way?
Module 5 task: questioning personal theories and beliefs
Smyth (1992:299) argues that the development of informed scholarship requires all personal theories and beliefs to undergo challenge and all must survive careful scrutiny and analysis so that any filters can be exposed and pathways to more informed scholarship can be cleared.
To this end, critically reflect upon the following guiding questions:
- What do your practices say about your assumptions, values and beliefs about teaching?
- Where did these ideas come from?
- What social practices are expressed in these ideas?
- What causes you to maintain your theories?
- What views of power do they embody?
- Whose interests seem to be served by your practices?
- What acts to constrain your views of what is possible in teaching?
Module 5 task: reflective practice
Select two tasks from the following:
Pre-reading: read chapters 1 and 2 from The Teacher's reflective practice handbook, Zwozdiak-Myers 2012.
- Page 85, Task 6.3 Dimension 4, Zwozdiak-Myers 2012. Complete the reflective task around ‘Questioning personal theories and beliefs’. (See task sheet: Module 5 Task – Questioning personal theories and beliefs)
- Record a Post Lesson Discussion (mentor/mentee in collaboration). Find out about ‘professional learning conversations’, from this text, or an alternative source.
- How have you modelled reflective practice in your post lesson discussion? What impact has it had on developing the reflective practice of the student teacher?
- Think back over recent months and identify opportunities in which you engaged in professional learning conversations with others, formally and informally. Describe the nature, purpose and outcome of those conversations which supported your professional development most effectively. How can you use these conversations to help student teachers see their practice differently?
- Using the CUREE National Framework for Mentoring and Coaching Skills for mentoring and coaching section:
- Identify the skills you use in your teaching and in your role as a mentor in the mentor/mentee relationship.
- Which of these do you need to develop to help you meet the Mentor Standards and which of these do you already use?
- Write a short report outlining the above.
Most of these tasks have been linked to The Teacher’s Reflective Practice Handbook, Paula Zwozdiak-Myers, 2012. Ideally, you will have access to this text, but if not, the tasks have been adapted so that they are accessible without it.