Reflective practice
The mentoring conversation
ByAlison Winson, Sue Wood-Griffiths
Pages 17

This chapter focuses on the crucial part played by the conversations between the mentor and the trainee in developing her teaching and wider professional role. If a mentoring conversation is to develop a trainee teacher's practice, it is important that targets are set. A learning conversation is a planned and systematic approach to professional dialogue that supports teachers to reflect on their practice. Most trainees are going to encounter learning theories. It could be argued that the actions taken by the trainee moved the pupils up the conscious-competence ladder, as they became more aware of their learning behaviour, until they were unconsciously operating to meet her expectations. Trainees (and mentors) will naturally be considering theories about motivation and self-esteem in relation to children. If a trainee teacher disagrees with the feedback given, or challenges the strategies being suggested, a mentor may need to give him the freedom to try his own ideas.