The role of the mentor in professional knowledge development across four professions
KeywordsL Education (General)
LC Special aspects of education
LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
Full recordShow full item record
AbstractPurpose - Against a British policy backdrop, which places an ever-increasing emphasis on workplace learning in pre-service professional programmes, this paper investigates the contribution of the mentor to professional knowledge development in nursing, paramedicine, social work and teaching. Approach - Taking the form of a literature review, it explores the influence of policy, professional and theoretical conceptualisations of the mentor role and structural factors influencing the mentor’s contribution to professional knowledge. Findings - Where there are clearly delineated policy obligations for the mentor to ‘teach’ mentees, mentors are more likely to make connections between theoretical and practical knowledge. When this responsibility is absent or informal, they are inclined to attend to the development of contextual knowledge with a consequent disconnect between theory and practice. In all four professions, mentors face significant challenges, especially with regard to the conflict between supporting and assessor roles and the need to attend to heavy contractual workloads, performance targets and mentoring roles in tandem. Practical implications - The authors argue first for the need for more attention to the pedagogy of mentoring and second, for structural changes to workload allocations, career progression and mentoring education. In order to develop more coherent and interconnected professional knowledge between different domains, and the reconciliation of different perspectives, it would be useful to underpin mentoring pedagogy with Bhabha’s notion of ‘third space’. Originality - The paper contributes to the field since it considers new obligations incumbent on mentors to assist mentees in reconciling theoretical and practical knowledge by consequence of policy and takes a multi-professional perspective.
Peiser, G, Ambrose, J, Burke, B and Davenport, J The role of the mentor in professional knowledge development across four professions. International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education. ISSN 2046-6854