Mentoring in Teacher Education: Building Nurturing Contexts and Teaching Communities for Rural Primary School Teachers in Sindh (Pakistan)

Dr. Nilofar Vazir & Ms. Rakhshinda Meher

Year:    2005
Category:   Education Quality
Source:   EQ 2005 – Pakistan 4th National Conference on Quality Assurance in Education, Lahore
Publisher:   PIQC Institute of Quality

Download Presentation   Download Paper  

 

Author’ Introduction:   

Dr. Nilofar Aziz Vazir is an experienced, energetic and enthusiastic educationist who possesses an affluent experience of working in various context within and outside the country. Her areas of interest, in teaching and research include: Early Childhood Education, Teaching and Learning at Primary Level, Curriculum, Resource, Project Development, Moral Education, Research in Childhood Education, Female Teachers, Biography/ Autobiography. Her specialization areas are: Mentoring, Early Childhood Education, Primary Education and Social Studies. She has presented papers internationally in USA, North America, Spain, and Norway and nationally.

She received her Doctoral degree in Philosophy (Ph.D) from University of Toronto, Canada. She has done her Master in Teacher Education from The Aga Khan University – Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED) Karachi and Post Graduation in Primary Education, from University of Sheffield, UK. She is also the holder of a Montessori and ECED Diploma.

She has been working at AKU-IED since 1995 initially as Academic Consultant and currently as Senior Instructor and Coordinator, M.Ed. Program. She participated in many conferences and workshops locally and internationally.

Abstract   

This paper examines how mentoring can improve the performance and level of teacher education in Pakistan, especially in rural areas. It presents a qualitative case study that focuses on two teachers from rural Sindh; one male and the other female. These teachers were participants in the Mentoring Program at the Aga Khan University – Institute for Educational Development (AKU-IED). Data was collected through participant observations, from structured and unstructured interviews, in the classroom and the field, and from reflective journals. The program focused on re-conceptualizing the role of these teachers as mentors, developing relevant skills through critical thinking and reflective practice. The objective was to enhance teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge and androgogical skills. After the program in their cluster based schools these teachers assumed roles that addressed the contextual needs of their areas with a focus on improving the quality of their teaching. The research for this study shows that the program helped mentor teachers to move from traditional to progressive approaches to teaching in which not only personal gains were achieved but whole school improvement was observed.