Teacher Mentoring and Early Literacy Learning: A Case Study of a Mentor-Coach Initiative
Educational reform policies such as the No Child Left Behind Act continue to place great demands on teachers. Additionally, educational reform policies such as this imply the need for continuous professional development activities that enhance teacher qualifications, especially for practicing teachers. This study examined the effectiveness of a nation-wide mentor-coach initiative towards enhancing teacher pedagogy and its effect on children’s literacy performance. Forty-four Head Start teachers and classrooms were examined. Results indicated that reading and writing scores benefited significantly more when teachers participated in the mentor-coach initiative. These findings suggest that professional development activities such as mentor-coach initiatives, if offered appropriately, can enhance children’s academic performance.
KeywordsMentoring Pedagogy Professional development Children Early literacy Teachers
- Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (2002). The Head Start conference for STEP early literacy mentor-coaches workbook. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- Barnett, W. S. (2003). Low wages = low quality: Solving the real preschool teacher crisis. New Brunswick, NJ: National Institute for Early Education Research.Google Scholar
- Barth, R. S. (2001). Teacher leader. Phi Delta Kappan, 82(6), 443–449.Google Scholar
- Carlson-Pickering, J., Fitzgerald, J., Poiner, R., Fredrick, D., & Cohoon, J. (1999). The two faces of mentoring: Human relationship and technology support. Retrieved July 27, 2008, from www.glef.org.
- Cruickshank, D. R. (1998). Use and benefits of reflective teaching. Phi Delta Kappan, 66(10), 704–706.Google Scholar
- Cummins, L. (2004). The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: Mentoring in early childhood education. Childhood Education, 80, 254–257.Google Scholar
- Dantonio, M. (2001). Collegial coaching: Inquiry into the teaching self. Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa.Google Scholar
- Dickson, D. K., McCabe, A., & Anastasopoulos, L. (2002). A framework for examining book reading in early childhood classrooms. Ann Arbor, MI: Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement.Google Scholar
- Dodge, D. T., & Colker, L. J. (1992). The creative curriculum for early childhood. Washington, DC: Teaching Strategies, Inc.Google Scholar
- Gertsen, R., Morvant, M., & Brengelman, S. (1995). Close to the classroom is close to the bone: Coaching as a means to translate research into classroom practice. Exceptional Children, 62(1), 52–66.Google Scholar
- Maynard, T., & Furlong, J. (1993). Learning to teach and models of mentoring. In D. McIntyre, H. Hagger, & M. Wilkin (Eds.), Mentoring: Perspectives on school-based teacher education (pp. 69–85). London, UK: Kogan Page Limited.Google Scholar
- National Foundation for the Improvement of Education. (1999). Teacher mentoring; a tool for school districts and their partners. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
- Nicholls, G. (2002). Mentoring the art of teaching and learning. In P. Jarvis (Ed.), The theory and practice of teaching (pp. 135–142). London, UK: Kogan Page.Google Scholar
- Portner, H. (1998). Mentoring new teachers. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc.Google Scholar
- Ryan, S., Hornbeck, A., & Frede, E. (2004). Mentoring for quality improvement: A case study of a mentor teacher in the reform process. Early Childhood Research & Practice, 6(1). Retrieved September 14, 2009, from http://ecrp.uiuc.edu/v6n1/ryan.html.
- Saluja, G., Early, D. M., & Clifford, R. (2002). Demographic characteristics of early childhood teachers and structural elements of early care and education in the United States. Early Childhood Research & Practice, 4(1). (ERIC Document Reproduction Service, No. 464 765).Google Scholar
- Smith, M., Dickinson, D., Sangeorge, A., & Anastasopoulos, L. (2002). Early literacy and language classroom observation scale (ELLCO). Baltimore, MD: Paul Brookes.Google Scholar
- Tugel, J. (2004). Teacher quality: What the no child left behind act means for teacher quality and professional development. Science and Children, 41(5), 22–25.Google Scholar
- Weaver, P. E. (2004). The culture of teaching and mentoring for compliance. Childhood Education, 80(5), 258–260.Google Scholar
- Westerman, D. (1999). Expert and novice teacher decision making. Journal of Teacher Education, 42(2), 292–305.Google Scholar
- White House. (2002). Good start, grow smart: The Bush administration’s early childhood initiative. Retrieved August 12, 2008 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/earlychildhood/toc.html.
- Zorn, D., Marx, M., Sullivan, S., & Bowe. W. (2003). Is “best practice” always best? Local implementation of a national early literacy initiative. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Evaluation Association, Reno, Nevada November, 2003.Google Scholar