The positioning tensions between early career teachers’ and mentors’ perceptions of the mentor role

Article


Curtis, Elizabeth, Nguyen, Hoa Thi Mai, Larsen, Ellen and Loughland, Tony. 2024. "The positioning tensions between early career teachers’ and mentors’ perceptions of the mentor role." British Educational Research Journal. https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3974
Article Title

The positioning tensions between early career teachers’ and mentors’ perceptions of the mentor role

ERA Journal ID20005
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsCurtis, Elizabeth, Nguyen, Hoa Thi Mai, Larsen, Ellen and Loughland, Tony
Journal TitleBritish Educational Research Journal
Number of Pages23
Year2024
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0141-1926
1469-3518
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3974
Web Address (URL)https://bera-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/berj.3974
Abstract

Early career teacher (ECT) mentoring has never been so important with escalating levels of attrition reported in numerous countries, including Australia, the US and the UK. However, inconsistent understanding of what a mentor can or should do continues to compromise the ways in which early career teachers experience this support. While previous research has reported on mentors’ differing perspectives on their role, we take a unique approach to this issue. In this paper, we explore the ways in which both mentors and ECTs understand the mentor role. We argue that where mentor and ECT understandings are in tension, the productive outcomes of mentoring for both the mentor and ECT are undermined. Drawing on Positioning Theory we report findings from the thematic analysis of 31 online interviews with 16 mentors and 15 ECTs in Australia. We found that while ECTs and mentors hold some common positionings, some significant differences were noted. These findings highlight the need to extend opportunities to learn about the mentoring role to include ECTs.

Keywordsearly career teachers, mentoring, mentors, Positioning Theory
Contains Sensitive ContentContains sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390499. Specialist studies in education not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Education
University of New South Wales
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