Alumna Tara Barnhart (Ph.D. ’16) published an article in ResearchGate recommending rethinking mentoring practices for pre-service and early-service teachers during the current pandemic. The title of the article is “Co-Innovating a Paradigm Shift from a Pandemic.”
Barnhart is an assistant professor at the Chapman University Attaliah College of Education Studies. Her expertise includes science education; teacher development, mathematics instruction, secondary education, and student-centered science instruction. As a doctoral student at UCI, she specialized in Learning, Cognition, and Development. Professor Elizabeth van Es served as her advisor.
The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in an unprecedented upheaval of the traditional teaching context. Fortunately, disruptions can also catalyze innovations as they cause the field to reexamine its assumptions and practices. Rethinking how we mentor pre-service and early-service teachers is one area that shows particular promise for improving teaching. I cite examples from my experience as a mentor teacher and a teacher educator to question traditional models of mentoring that inhibit innovation, collaboration, and reflective practice. Tools and routines that explicitly draw out the assets each member brings to the teaching dyad are needed to address the challenges of our current context, encourage thoughtful instructional change, and build teacher agency and collaboration.