Ryan, J. and Davies, J. D.
Exploring the effectiveness of online learning materials to support the mentoring of trainee teachers in workplace settings.
Canada International Conference on Education, Toronto, Canada, April 26-28 2010.
Available from: http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/12795
Publisher's URL: http://www.ciceducation.org/Ciceducation/CICE-2010...
Currently trainee teachers in the United Kingdom following a one-year Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) spend approximately two thirds of their training year in a workplace setting, typically a school or a college, and one third at their university or higher education institution (HEI). Much of the training is therefore delivered in the workplace and the university is responsible for the quality assurance of this training provision, and for the programme development and enhancement overall. Where there are concerns about the work based provision, for example, a significant gap in the professional training needs of trainees, then the university has to action plan for improvement. One such significant gap, identified through trainee feedback, was knowledge and skills to engage effectively in multi-agency working. One possible solution to addressing this gap was developing online learning materials to enable trainee teachers and their work based mentors to address this issue. Our research, and the content of the conference paper, explores how effective online materials can be used to support work based learning and professional practice. We are particularly interested in how online materials can support work based mentors and the mentoring practices and processes that happen in the workplace. How the mentoring process aligns with Vygotsky’s  suggestion of a ‘zone of proximal development’ will be explored in the context of work based learning and online/elearning approaches.
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