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Semiyu Adejare Aderibigbe Laura Colucci-Gray Donald Gray

Abstract

The need to improve teachers’ professional knowledge and skills is recognised across the globe. However while a neo-liberal model of education puts emphasis on skills and expertise; transformative agendas in education seek to establish educational environments that promote both cultural and social change in a systematic manner. Against this backdrop, educational reforms are initiated globally with the intention of implementing a ‘change’ process agenda which could conceivably serve alternative if not opposed goals and outcomes. Drawing on a study in a teacher education reform initiative in Scotland, this paper argues that a critical constructivist approach to mentoring can support collaborative learning between teachers and student teachers and in so doing, serve a model of teacher learning that is grounded in and conscious of the normative structures of classrooms and schools. In this paper, the critical constructivist approach to mentoring is seen as an integrated and egalitarian process encapsulating apprenticeship, reflective, socio-constructivist and participatory strategies to learning. Data collection was carried out using qualitative strategies including semi-structured interview and case studies. A series of examples of practice derived from this empirical study illustrate features of a complex process that incorporates apprenticeship and collaboration based on the critical constructivist approach to mentoring. 

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