PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GAINS FOR MENTORS IN A MENTORING PROGRAM: A CASE STUDY OF ERCIYES UNIVERSITY
In the most general sense, mentoring is defined as the assistance more experienced teachers give to less experienced, generally novice teachers. Teacher mentoring programs have been long believed to assist novice teachers professionally in several ways. However, not much is known about how mentors perceive their experience within mentoring in relation to their own professional development. This research, in that respect, attempts to examine the contributions mentoring processes provide mentors with; specifically elaborating on common ways these teachers believe to have grown professionally. This case study, which covers the second semester of the 2015-2016 academic year, was conducted with 17 mentors working within In-service Support program in the School of Foreign Languages at Erciyes University in Kayseri, Turkey. In order to explore the participants’ professional development gains as a result of their mentoring experience, semi-structured interviews that allow open-ended responses were used in the collection of data. The interviews with the participants, 17 mentors, were audio-recorded and transcribed. The data was analyzed through content analysis. Qualitative data of the study showed that mentoring acted as a way of professional development for mentors and led towards these mentor teachers’ reviewing their existing teaching beliefs and values, reflecting on their own teaching, experiencing a sense of renewal and increased enthusiasm in the profession.
Keywords: professional development, mentors, mentoring, mentees
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