This lecture explores institution-based mentoring of early career school and college teachers. Research has shown that such mentoring can have a powerful and positive impact on mentees, mentors, schools, colleges and education systems; yet unless appropriate conditions are created, mentoring fails to realise this potential and can even be harmful to beginner teachers.
Drawing on his extensive research in this area, Professor Hobson showed that a failure to provide key ingredients of effective mentoring at institutional and policy levels across England has contributed to inappropriate enactments of mentoring in primary, secondary and further education. Firstly, he focused on the nature, causes and consequences of the phenomenon of ‘judgementoring’ (Hobson & Malderez, 2013) which involves mentors “revealing too readily and/or too often their own judgements on or evaluations of mentees’ planning and/or teaching” (p.95). Judgementoring, which has subsequently been identified in other parts of the world, stunts beginner teachers’ learning and development, and has a negative impact on their wellbeing.
Professor Hobson then presented and discussed his original ‘ONSIDE’ framework for mentoring (Hobson, 2016), as one which would better serve the needs of early career teachers (and the schools, colleges and education systems in which they teach) than existing approaches to mentoring experienced by emerging teaching talent in the UK and elsewhere. He invited colleagues to consider the potential of ONSIDE mentoring for supporting the learning, development and wellbeing of other early career professionals.