Australian Catholic University has launched the ACUMentoring professional development program, a face-to-face learning opportunity designed for teachers in schools to build knowledge and understanding of mentoring practices.
To date over 350 teachers across Victoria and New South Wales have engaged in mentoring professional development with ACU academic staff using the Mentoring Hub resources.
The aim of the program is to enhance teaching practices and maximise student learning outcomes for both Pre-Service Teachers and Early Career Teachers through high quality mentoring experiences.
National Director of Professional Experience and Partnerships Associate Professor Jillian Fox said mentoring provides an innovative approach to building school and university partnerships whilst addressing the TEMAG recommendations detailed in the 'Action now: Classroom Ready Report'.
“Our partnerships are an empowering collaborative mechanism for supporting the formation of Pre-Service and Early Career Teachers”, she said.
“We have created the ACUMentoring Hub, a resource rich website that includes professional development programs, special events and ACU research initiatives.
“It was developed in response to community and education sector needs and offers a range of opportunities for educators to engage in high quality professional learning.
“It also includes a range of pathways into tertiary education exploring mentoring for teachers across a variety of career stages.”
Associate Professor Fox said the two-way or reciprocal process of mentoring, yields far-reaching benefits for mentees, mentors and the learning community.
She said research indicates that mentoring provides both personal and emotional support as well as career development and satisfaction.
“For mentees benefits include: career advancement, psychosocial support such as encouragement, friendship, and feedback opportunities to develop competencies, skills, and knowledge to improve performance.
“For mentors, it promotes professional and personal development, improved skills, knowledge and access to new ideas. Mentoring also enhances the development of quality learning and teaching in schools, early learning centres and higher education.”
The relationships established during these engagements set foundations for partnerships that embody the ongoing sector-wide commitment to build professional learning communities, share innovation and research and continuously build professional knowledge in the field of education that drives improvement in teacher education,