The context of this report focuses on the planning of a coaching and mentoring programmer related to my workplace and I will then critically reflect on my mentoring skills as a student mentor within the 14-16 Education system, I will then go on to clarify how the theories behind learning can be employed in conjunction with specific mentoring and coaching models. Over the last century there have been various theories of learning published, some of which can be directly linked to mentoring (Jarvis 2006).
Rice (2007) explains that, ‘Mentors use adult learning theories although the extent varies within the case being studied, tit such variability the needs of individual student teachers, the context in which the mentors are working in, and their own knowledge of professional practice and of espoused theories. ‘ During the mentoring process, whatever age, adult learning theories are used, in regards to the individual requirements (Brookfield 1994).
Having a thorough understanding of the relevant theories associated with learning is essential to ensure learning is achieved and relevant to the individuals concerned. The DEFIES declares that mentoring is a ‘valuable opportunities to relate theory to practice and to try out new ideas’ (DEFIES 2005). Over the course of my studies relating to learning along with the experience of mentoring people, specifically those within the 14-16 Education sector, I can clearly see that there are several theories of which can be employed throughout the coaching and mentoring process.
One of the most prominent in my mind, having had firsthand experience of using this theory, is that of the Behaviorism school of thought; this developed classic conditioning which is effectively deemed as learning by association, of which Pavlov (1849-1936) scientifically proved this. His theory recognized that there is significance in receiving a positive experience’, this can be pertained to mentoring: Pavlov suggests that the significance of acting in response with constructive support tends to prompt menthes’ to progress.
Furthermore, Watson ‘s’ (1876-1958) went on to promote the stage by stage deductive approach, this is where previous learning was replicated in order to strengthen learning and assist succession. From a personal perspective, when mentoring a person through a practical situation, weapons training for example, Watson stage by stage approach works extremely well in ensuring learning has taken place whilst it has also been retained.
A study, inducted by American Educational Psychologist Robert M Eagan (1916-2002) about the ‘mental events’ concluded that learning was a progressive situation and that learners were able to build on skills which had been learnt previously. It is apparent that by relating these theories to mentoring, they can sustain the minute, as learning through repetitive experiences and by relating actions to endorse perfections, being able to build on learning can enable individuals to accomplish their objectives (Reese and Walker 2006).
Moreover, cognitive theorists deem that learners should be encouraged to ‘reflect for themselves’ omitting of which I strongly believe, by reflecting, it should enable them to actively hunt out knowledge in a more inductive manner, representing this knowledge and understanding whilst being able to reflect on what they have learnt. John Dewey (1859- 1952), the renowned educational reformer and philosopher identified learning as ‘learning to think’ using reflection.
Furthermore, Jerome Burner (1915) claimed that learners should be educated how to evaluate problems themselves and develop into independent learners; moreover, the androgyny model as defined by Kola (1 939), provided a structure o learning, in which it promoted the use of all four learning styles, in the same way as Honey and Muffed (1982).
When trying to understand the importance of reflection as highlighted by Bolton (2005) Humanists, however, perceive learners as ‘individuals’ to which they empathetically note the significance of emotional causes, individual growth and meeting individual learners needs (Wallace 2005). The humanists focus more toward the ontological school of learning, being learner centered, which in turn, promotes individuals to practice their individual interests, thus increasing their personal strengths and skills.
Moscow (1908-1970) also shares this feeling. Being able to fully understand these theories are paramount when wishing to create a learning environment suitable for both the mentor and the minute. The learning theories which I have discussed, outline the foundation of successful mentoring, as well as teaching, by using androgyny as a form of learning, this idea was identified by the famous American educator, Malcolm Knowles (1983, cited in Reese and Walker, 2006, pap).
Broadband (2006) goes on to stipulate that it is crucial to be able to identify that all menthes are different, and may require different learning approaches if they are to be purported efficiently. A mentor needs to be flexible, decisive and friendly. They need to ensure that they are observing and measuring their proficient progress in order to propose different approaches and actions to assist their development. A mentor (in mentoring) is a dignified procedure whereby a more knowledgeable and experienced individual stimulates a accommodating position of control and promoting reflection and learning within a less experienced and conversant individual, so as to assist that individuals profession and personal development’. (Roberts, 2000: 162). Mentors need to be able to ensure they eave enough time to devote their attentions and effort towards individuals constructively, therefore it is important to select the right mentor to create the right working relationship.
Borne, India and Johnson (2003) consider the importance of the mentor being supported by its organization through peer mentoring, networking and training, this is something of which I strongly agree with, as when undergoing the training process of becoming a mentor, I did not receive any support from within my organization; upon reflection I feel that if would of had this support it would of enhanced my learning experience and allowed me to achieve my full potential.
Moreover, Cunningham (2007) suggests that structuring and nourishing communal respect and a good relationship has, from what I interpret verified to be fundamental in order to endorse open dialogue (Mugginess and Cluttered 2005). The learning route in which my menthes’ and have been on has been a twofold learning process (Broadband 2006) in the sense that I have been able to expand on my development and abilities; this has been emulated amongst my menthes’ also.
Borne el al (2000) goes on to assert that a mentor is someone who is competent in being able to confidently assign concerns and practices and have the courage to compose learning at a more personal level and someone who is able to facilitate and develop the menthes’ understanding. Although, coaching, as defined by the ‘Coaching and Mentoring Network as a process that enables learning and development to occur and thus performance to improve.
The Network then go on to state that, to be a successful coach, you need knowledge and understanding of the process as well as the variety of styles, skills and techniques that are appropriate to the context in which the coaching takes place. Mentoring, is, again defined by the Coaching and Mentoring Network is ‘Off-line help by one person to another in making significant transitions in knowledge, work or thinking’, there are clear distinctions between that and mentoring; distinctions which are frequently argued upon, according the Fletcher (2004, cited in Rice 2007, p. ) despite the fact that there are some overlaps, many mentors have contradictory outlooks on their positions, literature scrutinizes this, so therefore it is hard to determine the actual purpose (Jarvis 2006). Conway (1997:54) goes on to distinguish between coaching and mentoring in organizations, referring to ‘coaching as a more directive and focused on job’. In addition to this, he expresses ‘mentoring as a ‘non directive relationship’ which is more broadly focused: this is because the mentor takes a longer perspective for the individual and the organization.
Upon reflection to Concave (1997) views on coaching and mentoring, he states that coaching is ‘directly related to performance issues’ of which I personally have some belief in, certainly when coaching cadets through the process of shooting, in addition to this, coaching can also be described as ‘Improving the performance of somebody who is already impotent rather than establishing competence in the first place’ (Darlington, Hall and Taylor 2008 p. 432).
There are many coaching models which can be personalized (Broadband 2006), together with the frequently used GROW model, derived by Sir John Whittier in the early sass, with the help of Alan Fine and Graham Alexander. Standing for goals, realities, options and will, this model is utilized to formulate both coaching and mentoring sessions, and is achieved by asking open questions along with providing the minute with the point in time to reflect and take control, allowing them time to impede their own progression ND understanding (Whittier 2002).
This model, I believe benefits those who are synthetically led, on the bases that the model appears to be extremely creative and an optimistic form of mentoring, it also provides a powerful, yet simple framework for navigating through a coaching session. Although used more often in singular coaching sessions, it can be used as part of a series of sessions. The ‘Six Principles of Coaching’ (Rogers 2004) are also centered on the GROW model and assimilates SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound) goals and actions.
In order for this work, the minute must ant to adjust themselves, however this is not always the case, one of the impenetrability’s of mentoring educational experts is the assessment and the examining of the outcomes. In order to be able to quantify these proceedings the Department for Education and Skills (2005) draws on the SMART objectives as an element of CAP procedure. Furlong and Maynard suggest that ‘In the early stages of learning the minute needs to work alongside a mentor who can explain the significance of what is happening. 1995 cited in Jarvis 2007, p. 163). Constructive written and oral feedback from menthes’ has acknowledged this model as being he most successful and useful model throughout the stages of learning (Rhodes 2004). To begin with, a coaching session must have a Goal or outcome to be achieved. The goal should be as specific as possible and it must be possible to measure whether it has been achieved.
It is important to have identified a clear goal from the start, along with knowing where you are trying to get to; you also need to know where you are starting from- the Current Reality. This is a key part of the coaching process, being able to see clearly the current situation; it enables a resolution to become more obvious and straightforward. Upon having identified a clear starting and end point, it is then essential that you explore what Options are available to you in order to help you get there; you can also explore the possible ways of achieving the intended goal.
The final part of the model, being Will, sometimes referred to as ‘motivation’, this is an essential component for the process to make work and the desired outcome from this stage is a commitment to action, although depicted a sequential process, in practice it is a much less linear process, which may start anywhere and revisit each of the stages several times. Coaching in my view is about building an individual’s self belief, whilst raising self awareness and developing skills which help achieve an individual’s full potential.
Ultimately, coaching should be progressive and about changing attitudes combined with unlocking potential in order to maximize a person’s own performance: Performance is important for today, whereas potential is important for tomorrow. Peter Hawkins model: CLEAR, pre dates the GROW model and offers a different perspective on what to focus on when conducting a coaching session; this unlike the GROW Model, again according to Dry Mike Munroe Turner this model is straight to the point, besides concentrating on the need for a clear outcome, this model allows for more communication between the coach and the coaches.
The CLEAR model also emphasizes the importance of reviewing sessions, this ability to review sessions, is as we know, as educators extremely important to ensure that the needs of our learners are met in comparison to the GROW model, upon reaching the end, you are given the impression that the process has finished, whereas with CLEAR, there is a clear emphasis on reviewing the effectiveness of the coaching one of the fundamental tepees; it reinforces the value and importance of reviewing the process The coaching process itself comprises of four key elements (Appendix A) Context: Cadets progress through a training programmer to enable them to achieve the desired requirements in order to advance through the syllabus. The aim of this development plan is to enable a Cadet to achieve an Army Proficiency Certificate pass to a successful standard.
Using Sir John Whitehorse GROW Model, whilst incorporating Peter Hawkins’ CLEAR model and with the help of the Cadet, this multi-pronged approach will ensure the coaches develops the skills required to achieve his desired goal. The Goal in which this Cadet wishes to achieve is to be able to mach in step with fellow Cadets when performing Drill and Ceremonial parades. This was achieved by firstly, Contracting the situation; we identified the outcomes which needed to be achieved and by when, we discussed the options and how these would be completed- the ability to discuss with the coaches exactly what they require and how they feel about the situation, sets precedence for ownership, making them responsible for their learning in addition to this, ground rules will also be set and agreed to.
The next stage in the plan, focuses n Listening, having previously identified what is required and how the coaches is feeling; as a coach, by empathetically listening to the coaches, to help gain an in depth understanding of their situation and personal insight as to how they are feeling, will enable me, as the coach to adapt, where necessary the plan to best suit the individuals needs. As we progress through the model; Obstacles or sometimes referred to as ‘Options’, in this case, it was identified upon a previous encounter; that the Cadet may have a specific learning need which could potentially have a substantial impact on not only the learning process UT the outcome of this plan. This need, being Dysphasia which primarily affects the coordination; it has been suggested by the Dysphasia Foundation, (HTTPS://www. Disproportionately. Org. UK/dysphasia-adults/advice-adults/) That “those with Dysphasia are known to be creative, persistent and intelligent’ with this in mind, I can design the plan to minimize the impact on learning this specific need has on achieving the desired Goal. The Options available in this situation would be as follows: Emphasis the importance of practicing in a suitable environment. It is again noted by the Dysphasia Foundation, that those ho suffer tend to cope better when relaxed, and thus having such a calm and safe environment will help facilitate the teaching and learning. We can also draw links from Mascots Hierarchy of Needs to substantiate this.
Practicing amongst peers of a similar level will be beneficial, individual work however, in this situation would be best, as it allows the coaches to practice at his own pace. Demonstrate the particular movement in a step by step process. This allows the coaches to grasp the stages, understanding the process behind each stage in order to fully grasp the concept. Eventually those stages can be combined to make a complete movement. Moreover, incorporating Hawkins’ Model; the next element, being able to Explain the process and emphasis the goal will help the coaches understand the personal impact that the situation is having, then more importantly this explanation enables the coaches to be challenged and give them the opportunity to think through the possibilities for future actions in resolving the situation.
Once the points have been outlined with the coaches, they can be put into Action- this also has close links with the end stage of Whitehorse model, Way forward. Both of these stages emphasis the coach’s role of supporting the coaches in choosing the way forward to achieve their desired goal. The final stage within the coaching process, which personally, I feel is the most important, is that of the Review stage, this is particularly important especially when coaching a practical experience. In the review stage, it allows for the coach to reinforce what has been achieved along the way, feedback is actively encouraged from both parties and in my experience it is the most useful to find out how the coaches found the process as the points noted can be used to develop future coaching sessions.