Mentoring Teams as a Model of Supporting Distance Teaching: The Croatian Example

Mentoring Teams as a Model of Supporting Distance Teaching: The Croatian Example

Lidija Kralj
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 33
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-7638-0.ch005
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


In this chapter, the author describes how the Croatian Ministry of Science and Education organized support for the education system during the COVID-19 pandemic building upon education reform and using the mentoring teams as the main resource for learning content creation and teachers' support network. One of the most significant activities during educational reform was the establishment of virtual classrooms whose main characteristics were continuous professional development support in the online environment for learning, communication and collaboration, quick access to the new and relevant information, and establishment of the learning community of practice. The hybrid model of continuous professional development combined with mentoring teams who were already experts in remote work and online collaboration and communication contributed to the swift and effective establishment of distance learning. This chapter provides information from the teacher perspective giving ideas and examples that can be used in future professional development and collaborative teamwork.
Chapter Preview

The Plan For Remote Schooling Built On The Comprehensive Curricular Reform

At the beginning of March, when school closure was announced as a potential measure, the Ministry of Science and Education in Croatia (MoE) started preparations for distance teaching and learning. It took two weeks to move all classes online, and distance learning was successfully launched on March 16th 2020.

The concept was based on two key principles:

  • 1.

    Access has to be provided to all, adapted to student age

  • 2.

    There needs to be a backup channel for every solution (TV, web, LMS, social networks, messaging platforms) (MoE, 2020a)

Figure 1.

Support – multiple levels and agents, red titles are activities supported by the Mentoring teams


Ministry of Science and Education created a national school/grade schedule, which was envisaged in such a way that, in case the situation lasts until the end of the school year, would enable pupils to acquire the learning outcomes defined in the subject curricula. The national schedule foresees approximately 5 hours of schoolwork a day, but schools can add extra hours for their pupils. Each school has organised a virtual staffroom for teachers and virtual classrooms for students (Figure 2) on various platforms (Moodle, Microsoft Teams, Yammer, Google Classroom) where teachers communicate daily with their pupils, give them instructions and learning resources, check their activity and completion of tasks (MoE, 2020a).

Figure 2.

Organisational plan for schools


Key Terms in this Chapter

Distance Teaching: Teaching with the use of the internet and digital technology, where students and teachers are not physically present in a classroom. Appear in almost all schools during the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020.

Mentor: Someone who teaches or gives help and advice to a less experienced person. In teachers' professional development, a supporting and guiding person who helps to raise competencies and trying new educational approaches.

E-Learning: Learning and teaching that is enabled electronically with the support of digital technology.

Teamwork: The collaborative effort of a group to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way. In the teaching context, it means teachers working together to create learning resources and supporting each other in the process of creation resources and teaching with such learning resources

Virtual Environment: A place where students and teachers can work together online. A place for interactions between students, or students and teachers or just teachers enabled with digital technology.

Teachers’ Professional Development: Any type of continuing education or training for teachers. A way for teachers to improve their skills and competencies.

Collaborative Learning: Educational approaches involving a joint intellectual effort by students, or students and teachers as part of their learning, or teachers together as part of their professional development.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: