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South African Journal of Education

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Transforming beginner teacher mentoring interventions for social reform

Tanya Smit, Pieter H. du Toit

Abstract


This article reports on an investigation into the use of action research for beginner teachers’ professional development through the use of peer mentoring. Action research principles were applied by the mentor and the participating mentees/peers, forming a scholarly community of practice. The mentees were empowered to transform their teaching practice by applying the principles of Whole Brain® Learning (Herrmann, 1995) as a means to enact the role of facilitator and to take responsibility for developing scholarship of teaching, as it is aligned with the role of scholar and lifelong learner. The mentor (first author) who also was a beginner teacher at the time of the execution of the research project, had to enact the same roles with a view to transforming her mentorship practice, thereby enacting the role of transformative leader (Wolvaardt & Du Toit, 2012). Data collection methods included brain profiling and feedback questionnaires, observations, and video and photographic evidence. Some of the qualitative data collected by means of a feedback questionnaire are reported. Facilitating the mentoring programme offered the mentor the opportunity to develop professionally by using action research as a means to taking responsibility for her professional development per se.

Keywords: Action research; learning styles; mentoring practice; professional development; teaching practice; teaching styles; Whole Brain® Learning; Whole Brain® Mentoring; Whole Brain® Teaching




http://dx.doi.org/10.15700/saje.v36n3a1134
AJOL African Journals Online