Coaching the Mentor: Facilitating Reflection and Change

Nov. 15, 2010

Source: Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, Volume 18, Issue 4, 2010, p. 427-447.

The goal of this study is to investigate the process of coaching a mentor of experienced teachers.
In particular, the authors sought to determine if coaching would help a mentor to compare her espoused beliefs about mentoring to her mentoring behaviors and possibly resolve any dissonance.

The mentor and coach, who are the co‐researchers, participated in a platform conference, three coaching conferences, and a debriefing conference. In the platform conference, the mentor espoused the use of nondirective mentoring behaviors.
The mentor and coach used the coaching conferences to review audio recordings of the mentor working with mentees during conferences intended to improve the mentees’ teaching, and to engage in reflective dialogue concerning the mentor’s interpersonal behaviors.

The mentor experienced cognitive dissonance on several occasions during the coaching conferences when she discovered her use of directive behaviors in some interactions with mentees.

Eventually, the mentor resolved this dissonance, primarily by changing her beliefs about mentoring and shifting from a nondirective to an eclectic platform.

Updated: Jul. 26, 2011