Teacher, Mentor, and Teacher Education

Teacher, Mentor, and Teacher Education

Arturo Rodriguez, Matthew David Smith, Kevin Russel Magill
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9232-7.ch017
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Mentorship varies based in one's personal experience, understandings of theory related to the field, and the practice of mentorship in a given context. This chapter reviews mentor and protégé experiences over a 20-year timeframe, beginning in high school and continuing through collegiate, credentialing, teaching, graduate school, and doctoral education. The authors maintained a friendship and mentor/protégé relationship from their initial meeting through their current professional collaboration. They argue that mentorship must move beyond traditional ideas commonly associated with the term and instead include authentic experience and intellectual reflection across human ways of being or understanding within a framework of unimpeachable friendship, trust, and respect.
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Opening Statements


I met Matthew and Kevin in the autumn of 2001 when they dropped by the weight room of the high school where I taught in Sacramento, CA. On separate occasion, they asked if I would train them in the pre-season for wrestling and baseball. Since I was the weight and agility coach I agreed and began to provide them with a schedule that would improve their performance. As the days and weeks passed Matthew, Kevin and I would discuss different subjects, always lead by their intense curiosity and my willingness to engage whatever subject they might want to debate.

Our conversations eventually turned toward considering scientific problems and philosophical questions concerning existence. I therefore suggested some reading that might prove useful as they prepared for college this included some existentialist philosophy and some poetry. As the high school year closed I wished Matthew and Kevin luck as they graduated. I was confident they would be successful whatever path they chose.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Ontology: The study and analysis of the state of being.

Reflexive: The act of referring back to oneself. In this case understanding one’s power in a particular educational experience.

Apprentice of Observation: The many hours a teacher has spent observing and internalizing the approaches of others.

Human Capital: The value of a laborer in the capitalist attempt to develop surplus value. Often trained with particular knowledge, habits, and attributes.

The “Real”: What escapes the symbolic, or the state of nature from which our entrance into language has forever severed us. The real works in tension with the imaginary order and the symbolic order.

Regulated Consciousness: A limited perception based on ways one has been trained to experience the world.

Socratic Tradition: Approach to teaching and inquiry in which questions are asked as a starting point for uncovering and interrogating assumed knowledge, presuppositions, and official curriculum.

Axiology: The study and analysis of value leading into ethics.

Humanism: Philosophical tradition that encourages, accelerates, and celebrates human agency and achievement.

Border Pedagogy: An educational approach and metaphor designed to help teachers incorporate the complex intersections of identity, space, place, language, culture, and belonging often relevant for students whose culture does not always align with traditional US schooling.

Testimonio: A first person narration of a socially significant experience or experiences in which a socially significant or extraordinary first hand of an account is given and represents others who have lived a similar experience.

Ameliorate: Improvement or betterment of a particular condition or state of being.

Pedagogy of Collaboration: The art and science of facilitating and engaging in mutual individual growth and simultaneous humanization and construction of knowledge.

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