An Exploration of the Potential Benefits of Supporting Mentors of Newly Qualified Teachers to Use Solution-Focused Strategies in Their Mentoring Role

Prof Doc Thesis

Golding, L. 2021. An Exploration of the Potential Benefits of Supporting Mentors of Newly Qualified Teachers to Use Solution-Focused Strategies in Their Mentoring Role. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsGolding, L.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

In England, Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) are allocated an induction tutor or mentor who offer them mentoring as they transition into their teaching career. Mentors play an important role in supporting NQTs and their professional development. Mentoring can produce a variety of benefits, however, previous research suggests that a deficit-based, directive, advice-giving approach is apparent in practice, which can be detrimental to NQTs’ wellbeing and development. Furthermore, despite the importance of mentoring, there is a lack of research examining the impact of mentor education programmes. This exploratory research considers whether training in Solution-Focused (SF) approaches (de Shazer, 1985) is perceived to be helpful for practising NQT mentors.
SF approaches are utilised by Educational Psychologists (EPs) within a range of contexts and EPs have a role in delivering training in such approaches. In this research, nine participants, who had responsibilities in school-based mentoring of new teachers, attended training sessions on SF approaches. The research used qualitative data collection methods and participants’ views were gathered using semi-structured interviews. Interviews explored NQT mentors’ perceptions of SF approaches and strategies, focusing on their perceived appropriateness for use within mentoring, alongside mentors’ experiences of implementing them. Additionally, the research explored the perceived influence of the SF training and of using SF approaches on mentors’ self-efficacy. The interview data was subsequently analysed using Thematic Analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006). The findings indicate that all participants perceived aspects of SF approaches to be useful and supportive within their mentoring role, however, participants also perceived some limitations relating to using these approaches in mentoring. The findings suggest that participating in SF training or adopting SF approaches in practice can have a degree of positive influence on some mentors' self-efficacy within the mentoring role. They also offer insight into how training in SF approaches could support schools. The potential role of EPs in supporting school-based mentoring is considered and implications for EP practice are discussed.

KeywordsSolution-focused; Newly Qualified Teacher; Mentoring; Mentor Development
PublisherUniversity of East London
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Publication dates
Online19 Jul 2021
Publication process dates
Submitted20 Feb 2021
Deposited19 Jul 2021
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License: CC BY-NC-ND 4.0
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