Fostering a Theoretical and Practical Understanding of Teaching as a Relational Process: A Feminist Participatory Study of Mentoring a Doctoral Student

Dec. 10, 2009

Source: Educational Action Research, Volume 17, Issue 4 December 2009 , pages 505 - 521.

The authors were seeking to disrupt the practice of fostering theoretical understandings about teaching and learning in their graduate courses that had little connection to students' teaching practices. The authors also desired a mentoring approach for graduate students in education that would foster an understanding and practice of teaching as a relational process.

This article provides a practitioner account of an action research study focused on the development of such an approach.

In a semester-long feminist participatory study, the authors utilized weekly dialogues, reflective journals, classroom observations and written documents to explore the mentoring experience of one graduate advisor, one graduate teaching assistant, and two critical friends.

Through the action research process, a new mentoring approach grounded in the relational process of teaching was realized along with a new understanding of the place of authority and vulnerability in negotiations between mentor and student.

Updated: Jan. 12, 2010