From analysis of a series of interviews we proposed that design mentors seem to have 3 roles
- To act as teachers and managers of the activity
- To act as mentors to the pupils; in getting them to define and manage their own learning and progress through the projectwork.
- To act as an assessor in judging the kind and level of activity that the pupil is capable of.
We recorded and observed 12 pupil and teacher mentoring sessions using digital pens and voice recordings. The teachers then used these records to reflect on what they had said and done with the pupils and using the criteria; commented on the roles they were adopting.
The outcomes of this were that the teachers and observers gained a clearer insight into the roles of the project work tutor; and felt that their confidence in their own ability; which had previously been intuitive; was aided by having a structure on which to base their reflections.
This was a very preliminary study; aimed at validating the 3 roles. Having done so; the team believes that through pupils being better engaged in design and making pupil autonomy will be better developed.
The next stage will be to use this structure and approach in a wider range of schools; pupils; and educational contexts.
Keywords: Mentoring project-work; Designerly attitudes; Countertransference