Early Childhood Education Journal

, Volume 34, Issue 6, pp 425–430 | Cite as

Reflective Teaching in the Early Years: A Case for Mentoring Diverse Educators

  • Mariana Souto-Manning
  • Jaime L. Dice

Student diversity in classrooms is on the rise and with it, a need for teachers who recognize the needs of diverse student populations. Teacher retention is a national crisis, with teachers of color at especially high risk for leaving the teaching profession early. This case study describes a collaborative mentoring approach used by a primary grades Latina teacher and two university professors. This approach focused on reflective discussion of classroom events and addressed the challenges of teaching for understanding in an age of accountability and changing demographics. Findings indicate that the beginning teacher’s enthusiasm combined with the expertise of teacher educators benefited the teacher, the students, other teachers in the school, and the participating university professors. Implications of this case study point towards the need to mentor diverse educators in the early years.


Mentoring diversity minority populations teaching standards collaboration primary grades beginning teacher teacher educators case study 


  1. Alvino J. (1985). Parents’ guide to raising a gifted child. Boston:Little Brown & CompanyGoogle Scholar
  2. Bleach K. (1999). The induction and mentoring of newly qualified teachers: A new deal for teachers. London:Ormond HouseGoogle Scholar
  3. Boaler J. (1993). The role of contexts in the mathematics classroom: Do they make mathematics more “real”? For the Learning of Mathematics, 13(2), 12–17Google Scholar
  4. Carver C. L. (2004). A lifeline for new teachers. Educational Leadership, 61(8), 58–61Google Scholar
  5. Chang-Wells, Gen Ling M., & Wells G. (1993). Dynamics of discourse: Literacy and the construction of knowledge. In E. A. Forman, N. Minick, & C. A. Stone (Eds.), Contexts for learning: Sociocultural dynamics in children’s development. (pp. 58–86). New York: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  6. Cochran-Smith M. (2003). Standing at the crossroads: Multicultural teacher education at the beginning of the 21st century. Multicultural Perspectives, 5(3), 3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cochran-Smith M. (2006). Stayers, leavers, lovers, and dreamers: Why people teach and why they stay. New York: Bank Street College of EducationGoogle Scholar
  8. Feiman-Nemser S. (1996). Teacher mentoring: A critical review. Washington, DC: ERIC Clearinghouse on Teaching and Teacher Education, AACTEGoogle Scholar
  9. Freire, P. (1959). Educação e atualidade brasileira. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Universidade de Recife, Recife, BrazilGoogle Scholar
  10. Freire P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York: ContinuumGoogle Scholar
  11. Gay G., & Howard T. C. (2000). Multicultural teacher education for the 21st century. Teacher Educator, 36(1), 1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Glickman C. D. (1990). Supervision of instruction: A developmental approach. Cambridge, MA: Allyn and BaconGoogle Scholar
  13. Hodgkinson H. (2002). Demographics and teacher education: An overview. Journal of Teacher Education, 53(2), 102–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hughes, I. (1996). How to keep a research diary. Action Research Electronic Reader. Retrieved August 8, 2006 from
  15. Ingersoll R. M. (2002). The teacher shortage: A case of wrong diagnosis and wrong prescription. NASSP Bulletin, 86(631), 16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ingersoll R. M. (2003). The teacher shortage: Myth or reality? Educational Horizons, 81(3), 146–152Google Scholar
  17. Ingersoll R. M., & Smith T. M. (2004). Do teacher induction and mentoring matter? NASSP Bulletin, 88(638), 28–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Irvine J. J. (1997). Critical knowledge for diverse teachers and learners. Washington DC: American Association of Colleges for Teacher EducationGoogle Scholar
  19. Irvine J. J. (2001). Caring, competent teachers in complex classrooms. Washington, DC: American Association of Colleges of Teacher EducationGoogle Scholar
  20. Johnson S. M. (2004). Schools that support new teachers. In S. M. Johnson (Ed.), Finders and keepers: Helping new teachers survive and thrive in our schools (pp. 91–118). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & SonsGoogle Scholar
  21. Johnson S. M., & Birkeland S. E. (2003). The schools that teachers choose. Educational Leadership, 60(8), 20–24Google Scholar
  22. Ladson-Billings G. (1995). Multicultural teacher education: Research, practice, and policy. In C. A. Banks (Ed.), Handbook of research on multicultural education (pp. 747–761). New York: MacmillanGoogle Scholar
  23. Middleton V. A. (2000). A community of learners. Educational Leadership, 57(8), 51Google Scholar
  24. Monzó L. D., & Rueda R. S. (2001). Professional roles, caring, and scaffolds: Latino teachers’ and paraeducators’ interactions with Latino students. American Journal of Education, 109(4), 438–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. National Center for Education Statistics. (2005a). NAEP 2004 trends in academic progress three decades of student performance in reading and mathematics: Findings in brief (No. NCES 2005463). Washington DC: U. S. Government Printing OfficeGoogle Scholar
  26. National Center for Education Statistics. (2005b). The Nation’s report card: Mathematics 2005 (No. NCES 2006453). Washington DC: U. S. Government Printing OfficeGoogle Scholar
  27. National Center for Education Statistics. (n.d.). Fast facts. Retrieved October 9, 2006 from Scholar
  28. National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future. (2003). No dream denied, a pledge to America’s children. Washington, DC: National Commission on Teaching and America’s FutureGoogle Scholar
  29. Podsen I., & Denmark V. M. (2000). Coaching & mentoring first-year and student teachers. Larchmont, NY: Eye on EducationGoogle Scholar
  30. Stringer E. T. (1996). Action research: A handbook for practitioners. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, IncGoogle Scholar
  31. Tharp R. G., & Gallimore R. (1989). Rousing minds to life: Teaching, learning and schooling in social context. New York: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  32. Tillman B. A. (2000). Quiet leadership: Informal mentoring of beginning teachers. Momentum, 31(1), 24–26Google Scholar
  33. U. S. Department of Education. New no child left behind flexibility. Retrieved March 21, 2005 from
  34. Udelhofen S., & Larson K. (2003). The mentoring year: A step-by-step program for professional development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin PressGoogle Scholar
  35. Valenzuela A. (1999). Subtractive schooling: U. S. mexican youth and the politics of caring. New York: SUNY PressGoogle Scholar
  36. Villani S. (2002). Mentoring programs for new teachers: Models of induction and support. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin PressGoogle Scholar
  37. Villegas A., & Lucas T. (2004). Diversifying the teacher workforce: A retrospective and prospective analysis. In M. Smylie, & D. Miretzky (Eds.), Developing the teacher workforce: The 103rd yearbook of the national society for the study of education (pp. 70–14). Chicago: University of Chicago PressGoogle Scholar
  38. Vygotsky L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge MA: Harvard University PressGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Child and Family DevelopmentThe University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

Personalised recommendations