What is coaching and mentoring in schools?

Coaching and mentoring in schools is a whole school approach to better communication. Every process from professional appraisal to CPD are delivered through the language of coaching and mentoring.

Why is coaching and mentoring important in schools?

A high quality coaching and mentoring culture in a school develops staff and learner agency. Improves communication leading to better teamwork.

What is coaching and mentoring in teaching?

Coaching and mentoring in teaching helps to build student agency through metacognition and self determination. This leads to more robust learners who forge the skills required for the world beyond school.

What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?

Coaching is led by the coach and is time limited, it focuses on a particular area

that the person being coached wants to improve. The person coaching does not need to be experienced in the area.

Mentoring is led by the needs of the mentee. This will usually be longer in duration. The mentor is a more experienced person in the same field.

What does self-directed learning look like in the classroom?

This is difficult to answer because in every learning space and every subject, it will look different. Essentially, self-directed learning will mean that learners are at different points in the learning process at different times in the lesson. It may involve the use of technology to support and challenge learning, learners may be working on their own or in peer groups or with a teacher-led group.

What are self-directed learning strategies?

Strategies to promote self-direction in the classroom and across a school include:

  • Allowing learners to self-pace their learning, using technology to facilitate this;

  • Learners working independently of the teacher on tasks they have selected themselves to show their learning;

  • Learners planning their own learning within a specified time frame - choosing what they learn and when

There are many other strategies for a self-directed learning approach and these are most successful when drawn together into a whole school approach to learning.

How do you promote self-directed learning in the classroom?

Start small - self-direction is all about getting learners to take greater agency in their learning. This can be achieved by making small changes in your classroom. Allow learners the choice of task to show their learning or record your teaching input and show it on a device in the classroom so learners can refer back to it whenever they need to. Strategies like these help learners to develop greater agency of their learning.

What is place-based education?

Place-based education is an educational philosophy that seeks to help communities by employing students and staff to solve community problems. It differs from conventional text and classroom based education, in that it understands the students' local communities as one of the primary resources for student learning. It is rooted in what is local - the unique history, environment, economy, culture, literature and art of a particular place. Place-based education is often inter-disciplinary and aligns with several popular pedagogies including thematic, project-based and hand-on learning.

Why is place-based education important?

Place-based education is important because many learners will tend to stay in their community. Place-based education enables students to thrive in the community and for the community to thrive as a result. It affords local decision-makers, politicians and employers to create a place-based education and skills strategy.