A Qualitative Investigation of the Effects of Mentoring: Teacher Narratives from Tianjin, China

Paul John Edrada Alegado


The uniqueness of this research captures the dynamics of mentoring relationship between mentors and mentees and to what extent they have an impact on each other. Based on the qualitative analysis from teacher interviews done in Tianjin, China, the mentees greatly benefit from this relationship evident on the pedagogical knowledge, classroom management skills and psycho-behavioral aspects that they perceived and reported. On the other hand, mentors highlighted the effect on their leadership capacity and the sense of validation they get from this relationship. This paper concluded that although the benefits may not be weighed exactly the same on both ends, the effects are fundamentally significant and still ‘mutual’. The understanding of how teachers perceive and receive mentoring structures present in their school systems support and promote the literature on mentoring as professional development, induction, and an established practice that transcend vividly in a Chinese context.

Full Text:



Bell, C. R. (2000). The mentor as partner. Training and Development, 54(2), 52.

Blandford, S. (2000). Managing Professional Development in Schools. Routledge, London.

Borg, S. (2003). Teacher cognition in language teaching: A review of research on what language teachers think, know, believe, and do. Language Teaching, 36(2), 81-109.

Bryman, A. (2008). Social Research Methods. (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press.

Bullough, R.V. (2005). Being and becoming a mentor: school-based teacher educators and teacher educator identity. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21(2), 143-155.

Chao, G. T. (1997). Mentoring phases and outcomes. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 51, 15-28.

Clement, M., & Vandenberghe, R. (2000) ‘Teachers’ professional development: a solitary or collegial (ad)venture?’. Teaching and Teacher Education, 16, 81–101.

Danielson, C. (2006). Teacher Leadership that Strengthens Professional Practice. Alexandria: ASCD.

Desimone, L. M., Porter, A. C., Garet, M. S., Yoon, K. S., & Birman, B. F. (2002). Effects of professional development on teachers’ instruction: Results from a three-year longitudinal study. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 24(2), 81-112.

Donaldson, S. I., Ensher, E. A., & Grant-Vallone, E. J. (2000). Longitudinal examination of mentoring relationships on organizational commitment and citizenship behavior. Journal of Career Development, 26, 233-249.

Edwards, S. (1998). Openness, productivity and growth: what do we really know? Economic Journal, 108, 383-398.

European Commission (2013). The teaching and learning international survey (TALIS) 2013: Main findings from the survey and implication for education and training policies in Europe. Education and Training. Retrieved from: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/education_culture/repository/education/library/reports/2014/talis_en.pdf

Fideler, E., & Haselkorn, D. (1999). Learning the ropes: Urban teacher induction programs and practices in the United States. Belmont, MA: Recruiting New Teachers, Inc.

Freeman, C., O'Malley, K., & Eveleigh, F. (2014). Australian teachers and the learning environment: An analysis of teacher response to TALIS 2013: Final Report. Melbourne: ACER

Hagger, H., & McIntyre, D. (2006). Learning teaching from teachers: Realising the potential of school-based teacher education. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Hallinger, P., & Heck, R. H. (1998). Exploring the principal’s contribution to school effectiveness: 1980-1995. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 9(2), 157-191. https://doi.org/10.1080/0924345980090203

Harnish, D., & Wild, J. A. (1994). Mentoring strategies for faculty development. Studies in Higher Education, 19(2).

Hattie, J. (2009), Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. New York: Routledge.

Henard, F., & Leprince-Ringuet, S. (2008). The path to quality teaching in Higher Education. Programme Institutional Management for Higher Education, (October 2007), 1–50. Retrieved from http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/10/60/41692318.pdf

Hénard, F., & Roseveare, D. (2012). Fostering Quality Teaching in Higher Education: Policies and Practices. OECD, (September), 54.

Jones, C., & Jowett, V. (1997). Managing Facilities. Butterworth Heinemann.

Kasprisin, C. A., Boyle-Single, P., Single, R. M., & Muller, C. B. (2003). Building a better bridge: Testing e-training to improve e-mentoring programs for diversity in higher education. Mentoring & Tutoring, 11(1), 67-78.

Koki, S. (2000). The role of teacher mentoring in educational reform. Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, (808), 1–6.

Kram, K. E. (1983). Phases of the mentor relationship. Academy of Management Journal, 26(4), 608-625.

Kwan, T., & Lopez-Real, F. (2005). Mentors' perceptions of their roles in mentoring student teachers. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 33(3), 275-287.

Lester, J. H. (2003). Planning effective secondary professional development programmes. American Secondary Education, 32(1), 49-61.

Levinson, D. J., Darrow, C. N., Klein, E. B., Levinson, M. A., & McKee, B. (1978). Seasons of a Man’s Life. New York: Knopf.

Li, R. (2006). Mentoring as a supportive way for novice teachers in foreign language Teacher development: a case study in an ethnic college in China. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 7(2), 318-327.

Malderez, A., Hobson, A. J., Tracey, L., & Kerr, K. (2007). ‘Becoming a student teacher: core features of the experience’. European Journal of Teacher Education, 30(3), 225-248.

McIntyre, D., & Hagger, H. (1992). Professional development through the Oxford Internship Model. British Journal of Educational Studies, 40, 264-283.

McKimm J., Jollie, C., & Hatter, M., (2007b). Mentoring: theory and practice. NHSE: Imperial College School of Medicine.

Merriam, S. (1983). Mentors and protégés: a critical review of the literature, Adult Education Quarterly, 33, 161-73.

Nemanick, R. C., Jr. (2000). Comparing formal and informal mentors: does type make a difference? Academy of Management Executive, 14(3), 136-138.

Nicholls, G. (2012). Mentoring: the art of teaching and learning. Kogan Page Limited.

Noe, R. A. (1988). Women and mentoring: a review and research agenda. Academy of Management Review, 13, 65-78.

OECD (2009b). Creating effective teaching and learning environments: first results from TALIS. OECD: Paris.

Packard, B. W. (2003b). Web-based mentoring: challenging traditional models to increase women’s access. Mentoring & Tutoring, 11(1), 53-65.

Ragins, B. R., Kram, K. E. (Eds.). (2007). The handbook of mentoring at work: theory, research, and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Riley, K. A., & Louis, K. S. (Eds.). (2000). Leadership for change and school reform. Routledge, London. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203465882

Rivkin, S. G., Hanushek, E. A., & Kain, J. F. (2005). Teachers, schools and academic achievement. Econometrica, 73(2) 417–458.

Rockoff, J. E. (2004). The impact of individual teachers on student achievement: Evidence from panel data. The American Economic Review, 94(2), 247–252.

Rosenholtz, S. (1989) Teachers’ Workplace: The Social Organization of Schools. New York: Longman.

Rubin, H. J., & Rubin, I. (2005). Qualitative interviewing: the art of hearing data. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Salleh, H., & Tan, C. (2013). Novice Teachers Learning from Others: Mentoring in Shanghai Schools. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38(3).

Schon, D. (1983). The Reflective Practice. Basic Books, New York.

Seidel, T., & Shavelson, R. J. (2007). Teaching effectiveness research in the past decade: the role of theory and research design in disentangling meta-analysis results. Review of Educational Research, 77(4), 454–499.

Singh, R., & Sarkar, S. (2015). Does teaching quality matter? Student learning outcome related to teaching quality in public and private primary schools in India. International Journal of Educational Development, 153-163.

State Education Commission. (1994). Opinions on developing primary school new teacher training during probation, in: Encyclopedia on education law and regulations in the People’s Republic of China (pp. 1773–1774). Beijing, Chinese Law Encyclopedia Press, 1998, in Chinese.

Strong, M. (2009). Effective teacher induction and mentoring: assessing the evidence. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Tan, C. (2013). Learning from Shanghai: lessons on achieving educational success. Dordrecht: Springer.

Wai-Packard, B. (2001). Definition of mentoring. Management, 2000–2002.

Wang, J. (2001). Contexts of mentoring and opportunities for learning to teach in a comparative study of mentoring practice. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17, 51-73.

Wang, J. (2002). Learning to teach with mentors in contrived contexts of curriculum and teaching organisation: experiences of two Chinese novice teachers and their mentors. Journal of In-Service Education, 28(2), 339-374.

Wang, J., & Paine, L. W. (2001). Mentoring as assisted performance: a pair of Chinese teachers working together. The Elementary School Journal, 2(102), 157-181.

Wechsler, M. E., Caspary, K., Humphrey, D. C., & Matsko, K. K. (2010). Examining the effects of new teacher induction. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International.

Williams, J. (2000). Mentoring for law enforcement. FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, 69(3), 19-25.

Windschitl, M., & Sahl, K. (2002). Tracing teachers’ use of technology in a laptop computer school: the interplay of teacher beliefs, social dynamics, and institutional culture. American Educational Research Journal, 39(1), 165-205.

Wu, G., Zhang, C., & Tian, L. (eds.) (2009). Curriculum leadership and school-based innovation: interpreting Shanghai Jingan Education College Affiliated School. Shanghai: East China Normal University Press.

Yeomans, R., & Sampson, J. (Eds.). (1994). Mentorship in the primary school. London: Falmer Press.

Zachary, L. J. (2002). The role of teacher as mentor. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 93.

Zey, M. G. (1984). The mentor connection. Homewood, IL: Dow-Jones-Irwin.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jet.v5i2.13285


  • There are currently no refbacks.

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'macrothink.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.

Copyright © Macrothink Institute      ISSN 2330-9709