Role Reversal within the Mentoring Dyad: Collaborative Mentoring on the Effective Instruction of English Language Learners

Nov. 25, 2009

Source: Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, Volume 17, Issue 4 (November 2009), pages 297 – 315.

This mixed-methods investigation examined the collaborative mentoring of teachers in a large school system in the south-eastern United States.

The investigation was guided by two purposes.
The first was to examine collaborative mentoring as unstructured peer-to-peer coaching that emerged spontaneously as teachers shared experiences about effectively teaching English language learners (ELLs).

The second was to examine how licensure courses contributed to the emergence of collaborative mentoring.
Data collection consisted of questionnaires, mentoring stories, phone interviews, and electronic surveys.

After completing courses, 84 teachers reported significant increases in frequency and duration of interactions for sharing best practices with colleagues. The data analysts identified course components, causal links, and catalysts as having created conditions for mentoring.

Of 33 novice teachers recently trained in teaching ELLs, most found themselves mentoring veteran teachers yet untrained in teaching this student group.
This unexpected reversal of the traditional novice/veteran roles within mentoring dyads addresses a gap in the educational literature.

Updated: Feb. 21, 2010