Fostering learning through evidence-informed mentoring dialogues in school settings

Year: 2016

Author: Kriewaldt, Jeana, Nash, Melanie, Windsor, Sally, Reid, Catherine

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This presentation examines how the use of a descriptive observation tool mediates mentor teachers' post-lesson conversations with a preservice teacher. Our main interest was to investigate the effects of the use of evidence-informed records in combination with a dialogic approach. We used a qualitative research design to investigate how mentor teachers and teacher educators used the tool, and what effects the tool had on their dispositions towards feedback. Preliminary findings of the study suggest that some mentors find it difficult to describe teaching and learning, and routinely move to express judgments. This reduces opportunities for the construction and interrogation of professional reasoning in post-lesson conversations. The findings indicate that the use of a descriptive observation tool, used to record evidence-informed observations, fosters a more inquiring and collaborative stance when reviewing the lesson. This enhanced the preservice teacher capacity to reflect on their teaching. Some teacher educators were more able to collaboratively enable preservice teachers to build knowledge in professional conversations using the tool, though some resisted the approach.