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Developing globally competent beginning teachers: The role of teacher induction and mentorship programs across Canada

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Abstract:

Purpose
The purpose of the qualitative pan-Canadian document analysis study detailed in this paper was to explore how induction and mentorship programs are situated to support new or beginning teachers to become globally competent practitioners.
Theoretical Frameworks
Global economic, political, and social changes significantly impact educational systems (Wang, Lin, Spalding, Odell, & Klecka, 2011; Zhao, 2010). Within this dynamic environment, teacher education seeks to develop globally competent teachers possessing knowledge of the international dimensions of their subject matter and a range of global issues, pedagogical skills to teach students to analyze primary sources from around the world, appreciate multiple perspectives, and recognize stereotyping, and a commitment to assisting students to become responsible citizens locally and worldwide (Kelly, 2007; Longview Foundation, 2008).
As teacher candidates transition to the teaching careers, school-based opportunities for learning and development are needed to facilitate ongoing professional growth (Jurasite-Harbison & Rex, 2010). To facilitate global competence, beginning teachers must incorporate multiple cultural perspectives into the curriculum, anticipate and adjust teaching strategies to suit different communication and learning styles and abilities, and accept and value diverse cultural differences (Li, 2013). Translating cultural difference into instruction is a demanding process requiring individual reflection and inquiry and a structured process of widespread support.
Researchers (Darling-Hammond, 2003; Laitsch, 2005; Strong, 2005) claimed that induction programs with effective mentoring in the early teaching years are capable of supporting teachers through continued training after the pre-service phase and positively affecting beginning teacher retention and student achievement. Therefore, induction and mentorship programs would seem perfectly placed to provide support and scaffolding for novices to become globally competent teachers.
Methodology
Using content analysis of documents methodology (Salminen, Kauppinen, & Lehtovaara, 1997; Bowen, 2009), we undertook the pan-Canadian qualitative analysis of policies and program documents pertaining to induction and mentorship programs in the fall of 2012. The original data collection involved an exploratory search and collection of documents defining provision at provincial, teacher federation/association, and school board levels in all Canadian jurisdictions. For this paper, we conducted a secondary analysis to establish evidence of support provided to new and beginning teachers to facilitate concepts related to multiculturalism, working in dissimilar environments, working with diverse ethnicities, and being globally competent.
Research Results
Our study revealed many examples of concepts related to global competence and multiculturalism reflective of the diverse geographic and demographic nature of Canada. However, provision varied according to region and was strongly linked to whether support was offered through provincial and territorial government, teacher association, or district school board level. Within some documents, explicit reference to concepts related to global competence was difficult to establish, for example, concepts were sometimes included into broad definitions of maintaining an environment conductive to learning, cultures of learning, school culture, and collaborative learning (e.g., ATA, 2011; NBTA, 2010; NLTA, 2005; NLTA, 2006). Alternatively, in some provinces and territories, provision included community cultural activities and cultural pre-orientation, each linked to promoting personal and professional well-being of new teachers (e.g., NTECE, 2012).
Conclusions and Implications
There was evidence of global competence embedded in supports offered to facilitate successful transition for new and beginning teachers. However, the variance in the existence and descriptions contained in documents examined indicates inconsistent conceptions of a “globally competent” teacher at pan-Canadian level. These results warrant further investigation beyond the documentary evidence examined in this study.
The mentorship component of new and beginning teacher support offered an interesting avenue for dialogue regarding a teacher’s experiences and making meaning of the events. Data examined in this study showed that mentorship across Canada is seen as a way to support new and beginning teachers’ immersion into the school environment through local cultural adaptation and international mindedness (Cushner, 2007).
The presence of induction and mentorship were in many instances, a response to curb difficulties in retention and attrition throughout Canada. This concern, combined with limited employment opportunities in some regions for new and beginning teachers, highlights the relevance of global competence for new and beginning teachers as they consider relocation in order to secure a teaching position. Further exploration is needed to determine how new teachers interpret the necessity of global competence as part of gaining employment and ongoing professional development.
Significance of the Study
With attendant variations in school systems and policies internationally, responses to teacher development concerns tend to be compartmentalized, such that lessons learned from one jurisdiction remain unavailable for other jurisdictions. Therefore, with the increased focus on global competence among teachers, greater learning from teacher induction and mentorship programs in different jurisdictions is necessary.
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Association:
Name: Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p709850_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Kutsyuruba, Benjamin., Godden, Lorraine. and Tregunna, Leigha. "Developing globally competent beginning teachers: The role of teacher induction and mentorship programs across Canada" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Mar 10, 2014 <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p709850_index.html>

APA Citation:

Kutsyuruba, B. , Godden, L. and Tregunna, L. , 2014-03-10 "Developing globally competent beginning teachers: The role of teacher induction and mentorship programs across Canada" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-12-10 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p709850_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Purpose
The purpose of the qualitative pan-Canadian document analysis study detailed in this paper was to explore how induction and mentorship programs are situated to support new or beginning teachers to become globally competent practitioners.
Theoretical Frameworks
Global economic, political, and social changes significantly impact educational systems (Wang, Lin, Spalding, Odell, & Klecka, 2011; Zhao, 2010). Within this dynamic environment, teacher education seeks to develop globally competent teachers possessing knowledge of the international dimensions of their subject matter and a range of global issues, pedagogical skills to teach students to analyze primary sources from around the world, appreciate multiple perspectives, and recognize stereotyping, and a commitment to assisting students to become responsible citizens locally and worldwide (Kelly, 2007; Longview Foundation, 2008).
As teacher candidates transition to the teaching careers, school-based opportunities for learning and development are needed to facilitate ongoing professional growth (Jurasite-Harbison & Rex, 2010). To facilitate global competence, beginning teachers must incorporate multiple cultural perspectives into the curriculum, anticipate and adjust teaching strategies to suit different communication and learning styles and abilities, and accept and value diverse cultural differences (Li, 2013). Translating cultural difference into instruction is a demanding process requiring individual reflection and inquiry and a structured process of widespread support.
Researchers (Darling-Hammond, 2003; Laitsch, 2005; Strong, 2005) claimed that induction programs with effective mentoring in the early teaching years are capable of supporting teachers through continued training after the pre-service phase and positively affecting beginning teacher retention and student achievement. Therefore, induction and mentorship programs would seem perfectly placed to provide support and scaffolding for novices to become globally competent teachers.
Methodology
Using content analysis of documents methodology (Salminen, Kauppinen, & Lehtovaara, 1997; Bowen, 2009), we undertook the pan-Canadian qualitative analysis of policies and program documents pertaining to induction and mentorship programs in the fall of 2012. The original data collection involved an exploratory search and collection of documents defining provision at provincial, teacher federation/association, and school board levels in all Canadian jurisdictions. For this paper, we conducted a secondary analysis to establish evidence of support provided to new and beginning teachers to facilitate concepts related to multiculturalism, working in dissimilar environments, working with diverse ethnicities, and being globally competent.
Research Results
Our study revealed many examples of concepts related to global competence and multiculturalism reflective of the diverse geographic and demographic nature of Canada. However, provision varied according to region and was strongly linked to whether support was offered through provincial and territorial government, teacher association, or district school board level. Within some documents, explicit reference to concepts related to global competence was difficult to establish, for example, concepts were sometimes included into broad definitions of maintaining an environment conductive to learning, cultures of learning, school culture, and collaborative learning (e.g., ATA, 2011; NBTA, 2010; NLTA, 2005; NLTA, 2006). Alternatively, in some provinces and territories, provision included community cultural activities and cultural pre-orientation, each linked to promoting personal and professional well-being of new teachers (e.g., NTECE, 2012).
Conclusions and Implications
There was evidence of global competence embedded in supports offered to facilitate successful transition for new and beginning teachers. However, the variance in the existence and descriptions contained in documents examined indicates inconsistent conceptions of a “globally competent” teacher at pan-Canadian level. These results warrant further investigation beyond the documentary evidence examined in this study.
The mentorship component of new and beginning teacher support offered an interesting avenue for dialogue regarding a teacher’s experiences and making meaning of the events. Data examined in this study showed that mentorship across Canada is seen as a way to support new and beginning teachers’ immersion into the school environment through local cultural adaptation and international mindedness (Cushner, 2007).
The presence of induction and mentorship were in many instances, a response to curb difficulties in retention and attrition throughout Canada. This concern, combined with limited employment opportunities in some regions for new and beginning teachers, highlights the relevance of global competence for new and beginning teachers as they consider relocation in order to secure a teaching position. Further exploration is needed to determine how new teachers interpret the necessity of global competence as part of gaining employment and ongoing professional development.
Significance of the Study
With attendant variations in school systems and policies internationally, responses to teacher development concerns tend to be compartmentalized, such that lessons learned from one jurisdiction remain unavailable for other jurisdictions. Therefore, with the increased focus on global competence among teachers, greater learning from teacher induction and mentorship programs in different jurisdictions is necessary.


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