Source: Professional Development in Education, Volume 33, Issue 2 (June 2007) , p. 171 - 188
This paper is based on findings from an exploratory study carried out during 2004/05 among members of the London Providers Mentoring Group. Qualitative data from nine teacher education partnerships working with a significant proportion of the schools in London was subjected to interpretative analysis. The paper explores how the London Providers Mentoring Group, a community of practice adopting an 'inquiry as stance' philosophy, has worked towards a pedagogy of mentor education. The paper outlines tensions the group has faced resulting from the changing nature of provision for initial teacher education in England. The main purpose here is to present an analysis of activities designed by mentor educators to enhance learning in mentors and to begin to describe a pedagogy of mentor education. Findings reveal that there are two main types of activities engaged in by London communities of mentoring practice, which are based on divergent principles. Both are necessary for successful mentor development and lead to different types of knowledge. The paper explores and distils principles relating to the nature of the participatory learning processes within these communities and how they are planned and enabled through increasingly collaborative processes as mentors become more experienced. The nature of these communities of mentoring practice is also discussed.