Maximising learning dialogue in professional field-based experiences
Data was gathered from 16 participant pairs in early childhood education settings and 11 counselling settings. These participant pairs were asked to trial four interventions to enhance practicums: A partnership map, a belief inventory, a critical incident discussion, and a research journal article discussion.
Findings revealed that:
- The most important factor when working with a practicum tutor or mentor is the existence of an open and trusting relationship.
- The foundation of the relationship needs to focus on learning. It can be helpful to use specific tasks or strategies to scaffold conversations.
- It is important to place great value on the opportunity to spend time with a mentor. This means being intentional about making time to talk, and then using that time well.
- It is helpful to be really clear about the ideas and expectations of everyone involved and to regularly check how things are going.
- In terms of educational conversation, there is a spectrum with ‘supportive’ at one end and ‘challenging’ at the other. The tendency is for conversations to be either superficial and affirming, or critical. The best learning comes from both: challenge when it takes place in an environment of support.
While mentors are often experts in their field many have not had any professional development around how to best enhance student learning.
From this project, 3 resources have been developed to support mentors, learners and organisations involved in vocational education.
You can download these resources as a pdfs by clicking on the links below each one or purchase the print set from the Ako Aotearoa shop.
Click on the images to download the booklets (PDF)
- educators and organisations involved in workplace learning
- practitioners and researchers interested in mentoring
- counselling and early childhood educators
- Dr Andrew Smith (Contact Project Leader), Bethlehem Tertiary Institute
- Suzzanne Barthow, Bethlehem Tertiary Institute
- Richard Charmley, Private Practitioner
- Lynne Miles, WINTEC
- Dr Beverley Norsworthy, Bethlehem Tertiary Institute
- Philip Ozanne, Bethlehem Tertiary Institute
- Dr Marion Sanders, Bethlehem Tertiary Institute
- Cindy Weydeman, New Zealand Tertiary College
$131,834 GST exc.
Sanders, M., Smith, A., Norsworthy, B., Barthow, S., Miles, L., Ozanne, P., & Weydeman, C. (2012). Five habits for effective mentors. Wellington: Ako Aotearoa
Sanders, M., Smith, A., Norsworthy, B., Barthow, S., Miles, L., Ozanne, P., & Weydeman, C. (2012). Ideas for learners: Making the most of field-based, practical experiences. Wellington: Ako Aotearoa
Sanders, M., Smith, A., Norsworthy, B., Barthow, S., Miles, L., Ozanne, P., & Weydeman, C. (2012). Ideas for training providers: Making the most of field-based, practical experiences. Wellington: Ako Aotearoa
Smith, A., Sanders, M., Norsworthy, B., Barthow, S., Miles, L., Ozanne, P., & Weydeman, C. (2012). Maximising learning dialogue between workplace mentors and students undertaking professional field-based experiences. Wellington: Ako Aotearoa
Sander, M. & Smith, A. (2013 July) Maximising learning dialogue opportunities in professional field-based experiences. Presentation at the Higher Education and Research Development Society of Australasia (HERSDA) Conference, Auckland, New Zealand.
The report from this project is published under the Creative Commons 3.0 New Zealand Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike Licence (BY-NC-SA/3.0-NZ). Under this licence you are free to copy, distribute, display and perform the work as well as to remix, tweak, and build upon this work non-commercially, as long as you credit the author/s and license your new creations under the identical terms.