Os especialistas escolares no trabalho de mentoria : desafios e possibilidades
Borges, Fabiana Vigo Azevedo
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This thesis presents a research on the performance of mentors – experienced teachers that guide and support early-stage teachers in their initial teaching practice – during their participation in an online program for mentorship training (Programa de Formação Online de Mentores – PFOM). PFOM is a program offered by UFScar in distance education, with live mentorship training in public schools. The main goal of the research is to analyze the type and extent of the learning and of the contributions that these participations provoked to the knowledge base of these experienced teachers. It also aimed to observe the challenges and possibilities faced by these mentors, as well as the similarities and differences between the vary roles they have as coordinators, directors and supervisors at the school with those they had to perform during the mentorship. The research, thus, investigated how the performance of the experienced teachers as mentors contributed to their own professional development and learning, verifying whether there was any change in their knowledge base for the teaching and guiding of the early-stage teachers. To do so, a qualitative study of a descriptive-analytical nature was conducted through a detailed intervention-research carried out at PFOM, which is based on a constructive-collaborative approach and whose subjects are three participants of the program. The participants are all experienced teachers who work as a director, a coordinator and a supervisor each at a public school, and who became the mentor of early-stage teachers during their participation in the PFOM. Narratives produced by the subjects were used for data-gathering, which were analyzed under the following categories: (i) initial conceptions and beliefs about early-stage teaching and mentorship; (ii) similarities and differences between the tasks performed at school and those accomplished during the mentorship; (iii) the contributions of the program for the teaching practice of the subjects and the expansion of their docent knowledge base; and (iv) the construction of a mentor identity. Theoretically, the research is grounded on authors who study teacher education, programs for induction of early-stage teachers, the knowledge base for teaching practice, and the knowledge of teacher trainers, such as Marcelo Garcia (1999, 2009), Mizukami (2004,2010); Reali et. al (2008, 2011), Vaillant (2003, 2004), among others. At the end of the analysis, it was found that the context where the early-stage teachers teach, their academic formation and their knowledge base influence their professional practice and, thus, result in specific challenges in the classroom, which are solved with the help of the mentors – mainly based on their personal teaching experiences rather than on their expertise. Besides, it was noted occasional interferences of some tasks of the experienced teachers in their mentorship, considering the hierarchy and varied duties related to their position at the school. Therefore, special attention to contextual issues and to the amount of time required for the fulfillment of tasks related to the school position is needed when planning the mentorship. Additionally, the specific formation of mentors in induction programs is essential so they are able to well support, orient and guide, the development of early-stage teachers during their first professional practices, in order to minimize the challenges observed in the research. Accordingly, it is necessary a well-planned work of mentorship, considering the professional experience of the early-stage teachers, a reflexive teaching and guiding practice, and contextual demands.