Reading a mentoring situation: One aspect of learning to mentor

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This paper describes and interprets the meanings that one novice mentor attributes to 'reading a mentoring situation', an organizing metaphor for describing how one experienced teacher of English learns to analyze one aspect of her learning in talking to mentor teachers of English throughout her first year of induction into mentoring. The study revealed that learning to become a mentor is a conscious process of induction into a different teaching context and does not 'emerge' naturally from being a good teacher of children. Thus, at an operational level, teacher education programs should prepare teachers for this passage by encouraging the dissemination of in-service courses that allow novice mentors the opportunity to articulate the construction of their new role. Such courses can be structured as 'learning conversations' whereby mentors are encouraged to reflect on their roles in the company of fellow mentors, mediated by an experienced mentor of mentors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-88
Number of pages14
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2001


  • Novice mentors
  • Passage from teaching to mentoring
  • Process of learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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