Source: Professional Development in Education, Vol. 36, Nos. 1–2, (March 2010), pp. 263–273.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
Teacher educators need professional development in effective use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in order to keep up with the changes and developments in ICT and to pose as a model for teacher candidates.
For the purpose of meeting teacher educators’ professional development needs in ICT, it is necessary to take adult-education-based learning theories as the basis for the organization of effective, productive and practical professional development activities. In this respect, the purpose of the present study is to suggest a structure of one-to-one mentoring based on the transformative learning theory in order to meet professional development in ICT.
For this purpose, the following research questions were considered:
● What are the characteristics of the structure of one-to-one mentoring for professional development regarding the use of ICT?
● How does the structure of one-to-one mentoring function in professional development regarding the use of ICT?
In the scope of this study, in order to meet professional development in ICT in Turkey, the characteristics and the functioning of the structure of one-to-one mentoring based on the transformative learning theory are explained.
One of the activity types carried out for professional development in ICT includes the activities in the structure of mentoring.
The mentoring structure in professional development activities regarding ICT is characterized by the mentor sharing his or her technology-related experience with the professional member on the basis of one-to-one interaction.
The structure of one-to-one mentoring for professional development in ICT enables the mentor to share his or her skills and experience in technology with the teacher educators. The structure also enables the teacher educator to share his or her instructional expertise and experience in the field. Therefore, the model of one-to one mentoring helps develop both the teacher educator and his or her undergraduate or postgraduate students who conduct one-to-one mentoring.
The structure of one-to-one mentoring regarding professional development in ICT is designed in a way to be coordinated by a teacher educator who is expert in the field of professional development. Moreover, in this structure, the mentors who carry out mentoring in technology are postgraduate students attending a doctorate programme in the Department of Computer and Instructional Technologies. The teacher educator, who will manage the maintenance of functioning of the structure, matches the postgraduate technology mentor student with the teacher educators who want to participate in the professional development activities.
In the second phase of this structure, the technology mentor and the teacher educators who have been matched with one another come together. In this process, each technology mentor student will meet the teacher educators he or she has been matched with, will determine the subjects regarding ICT that the teacher educator needs and will decide on the activities to be carried out.
In the third phase of this structure, the coordinator faculty member and the technology mentor students will come together on a weekly basis, will share their experiences regarding the process with each other and will discuss the functioning and non-functioning aspects of the process.
In addition, in case of any failure to solve the problems experienced in the mentoring process, another technology mentor will be determined and matched with the teacher educator so as to continue the mentoring process.
Transformative learning theory, one such learning theory, provides a suitable structure for activities to be carried out to meet professional development needs in ICT. In addition, the structure of one-to-one mentoring will enable professional development activities to be carried out on the basis of transformative learning theory.
The structure formed in the scope of the present study for professional development in ICT is unique in Turkey since it was based on transformative learning theory. Within the structure of one-to-one mentoring presented in this structure, a learning environment based on transformative learning theory could be established between both the teacher educators and the postgraduate technology mentoring students. This structure provides an institutional structure and the basis for professional development in ICT.