Mentoring in an independent secondary school : teacher professionalism explored

Cuthbert, Michéle B. (2014). Mentoring in an independent secondary school : teacher professionalism explored. EdD thesis The Open University.



This thesis investigates the influence that teacher professionalism has, at an Independent Secondary School, on formal and informal mentoring of new teachers. It attempts to elucidate the extent to which experienced teachers see mentoring their new colleagues in the classroom embedded within their own professional conduct and development. Data is collected through interviews and a focus group. A Corbin-Strauss grounded theory methodology is adopted to develop a substantive theory of mentoring practices within an Independent Secondary School setting (Corbin and Strauss, 2008). The analysis is organised with the assistance of the software QSR NVIVO 9. Analysis of the data is done through a Conditional Relationship Guide which reveals four processes: A Culture of Support that stimulates Professional Development, which in turn encourages Professional Engagement, providing a platform for Bespoke Mentoring; together with evidence of a supportive culture. These processes are placed on a Reflective Coding Matrix as described by Scott (2004). The Reflective Coding Matrix helps to visualise the properties, processes and dimensions of the core category of Teacher Professionalism within an Integrated Culture. All the work of analysis is then integrated through writing a story line that interprets and refines the theory, illustrated by a Conditional Matrix. The emerging conclusions have implications for how qualified and unqualified teachers should be supported within their first years of teaching, as well as the nature of the ongoing support they provide for their colleagues and receive themselves, throughout their teaching careers. Professional recommendations call on Induction coordinators or teachers in charge of the mentoring structure at a school to take more of a pervasive role in the employment, integration and mentoring support of new teachers. This original contribution to the current body of mentoring research may be transferrable to other Independent and State Schools.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions