ERIC Number: ED346088
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
The Mantle of a Mentor: The Mentor's Perspective.
The study described in this paper was conducted to examine mentoring from the mentor teachers' perspective and describe what it means to be a teacher leader in a profession long characterized as egalitarian. Three paths are followed in an effort to understand the mentor's perspective: (1) the current vacuum in instructional leadership; (2) the social realities of schools that have encouraged teacher egalitarianism; and (3) the intersection where the innovation of mentor teacher programs meets teacher egalitarianism. Participants in the study (N=17) were first, second, and third year mentors who responded to in-depth interviews. Results suggest that mentoring occurred on three levels: (1) strongly assertive, in which mentors imparted expertise, interacting with teachers in classrooms intensively enough to bring about change; (2) moderately assertive, in which mentors led workshops and other out-of-classroom activities; and (3) weakly assertive, in which mentors wrote curriculum and maintained a co-equal facilitating stance. Two-thirds of the mentors exerted only a moderate or weak assertiveness, unwilling or unable to enter colleagues' classrooms. The fact that mentors find the mantle of leadership confusing, uncomfortable, even painful, implies that if mentor teachers are to bring about educational reform, structural changes giving them specific time and authority to interact with teachers in classrooms need to be made. (LL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Egalitarianism; Protege Mentor Relationship; Reform Efforts
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, April 20-24, 1992).