Mentoring required for new teachers and education leaders

Press Release – Fulbright NZ

Victoria University of Wellington academic Kate Thornton will explore the role of mentoring in supporting new teachers and developing education leadership at an American non-profit organisation dedicated to the advancement of teacher and school leader …Mentoring required for new teachers and education leaders

Victoria University of Wellington academic Kate Thornton will explore the role of mentoring in supporting new teachers and developing education leadership at an American non-profit organisation dedicated to the advancement of teacher and school leader effectiveness. As recipient of the 2012 Fulbright-Cognition Scholar Award in Education Research, Kate will spend three months from August 2012 at the New Teacher Center in Santa Cruz, California, observing the Center’s teacher induction and school leadership development programmes.

The use of mentoring to support teacher leadership is well established and the subject of considerable research in the United States, and the New Teacher Center has served nearly 50,000 teachers and 5,000 mentors since its establishment in 1998. By observing the Center’s programmes and interviewing both mentor and teacher participants, Kate hopes to identify factors for the training and support of effective teacher mentors that could be applied in the New Zealand education sector, where an ability to show leadership that contributes to effective teaching and learning is required of all registered teachers.

As well as ultimately improving student learning, mentoring can help attrition rates for new teachers by improving self-reflection, problem-solving, confidence and professional growth. The New Teacher Center’s programmes have achieved long-term new teacher retention rates as high as 95%, compared to a nationwide dropout rate of nearly 50% in the United States. Mentoring relationships are shown to provide similar benefits professionally to mentors as their mentees.

The National President of the New Zealand Educational Administration and Leadership Society (NZEALS), Kate works at the forefront of educational leadership across all sectors from early childhood to tertiary education. She teaches courses on educational leadership and mentoring and coaching at Victoria University’s Faculty of Education, and has worked for many years on mentoring and leadership among early childhood education teachers. Kate will be the fifth Fulbright-Cognition Scholar in Education Research since the award partnership began between Fulbright New Zealand and the Cognition Institute in 2008.

Fulbright New Zealand was established in 1948 to promote mutual understanding through educational and cultural exchanges between New Zealand and the United States of America. The Fulbright programme offers a range of prestigious awards for New Zealand and American graduate students, academics, artists and professionals to study, research and teach in each other’s countries. Fulbright New Zealand offers over 70 exchange awards each year – half to students and half to scholars – and more than 1,400 New Zealanders and 1,100 Americans have benefited from a Fulbright award to date. The programme is mainly funded by the US and New Zealand governments with additional funding from award sponsors, private philanthropists and alumni donors.

See www.fulbright.org.nz for details about Fulbright awards and how to apply, or download a Media Fact Sheet of further background information here: www.fulbright.org.nz/about/mediafactsheet.pdf

The Cognition Institute

The Cognition Institute’s vision is to be a thought leader in education. It fosters, encourages and facilitates quality education research and policy dedicated to improving teaching and learning in New Zealand schooling.

The Institute’s mission is to inform and influence discussion, discourse and policy in education, based on high quality research and evidence. It also strives to connect educational practice, policy and research to improve educational outcomes in New Zealand and internationally.

The Cognition Institute was established by the Cognition Education Trust and developed out of the Cognition Education Research Trust. The Institute is funded by Cognition Education Trust through the proceeds of Cognition Education Limited, New Zealand’s leading independent education services and consultancy provider.

ENDS

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