The development and implementation of a reflective mentoring program for early childhood educators

Singleton, Carmella (1997) The development and implementation of a reflective mentoring program for early childhood educators. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The provincial colleges in Newfoundland and Labrador that offer Early Childhood Education Programs do not include formal mentoring opportunities for early childhood educators and students. Such a program would provide opportunities for the mentors and mentees to reflect On their teaching practices during the practical component of the program when mentees are assigned field placements in community and college child care centers. -- The study was a qualitative case study that focused on the development and implementation of a formal reflective mentoring program for experienced early childhood educators and field placement students. It was anticipated that a formal reflective mentoring program which included opportunities for reflective practices would promote reflective thinking in relation to early childhood education teaching practices. -- Through the use of interviews, observations, conferences, and journal writing, the researcher determined effective mentoring strategies and skills that the experienced early childhood educators demonstrated with students to foster and promote reflective thinking in relation to meaningful and purposeful Early Childhood Education teaching practices. -- The participants in the study were four early childhood educators (mentors), and four students (mentees). The educators were selected as mentors and were paired randomly with students (mentees) registered in an Early Childhood Education Program. The study was conducted in the child care center where the educators were employed, which was the demonstration center for one of the provincial colleges. -- The findings indicate there was an increase in the mentors' and mentees' understanding of the role of a mentor and the benefits of mentoring. As well, mentors and mentees identified coaching and modeling as effective mentoring strategies to assist and demonstrate early childhood teaching practices as they worked with children. In addition, the findings revealed the importance of conferencing and journal writing as mentoring strategies to promote reflective thinking in relation to meaningful and purposeful Early Childhood Education teaching practices. The findings also indicated that mentors must demonstrate sensitivity and encouragement to help create a non- threatening environment for themselves and mentees to think reflectively about their teaching practices. -- Recommendations are made to the Colleges' advisory committees and instructors of Early Childhood Education Programs to strengthen the field placement component of Early Childhood Education Programs.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1065
Item ID: 1065
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves [204]-211
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1997
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Early childhood educators--Training of--Newfoundland and Labrador; Mentoring in education

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