It is now widely recognized that if teachers are to improve their knowledge and skills, they need ongoing opportunities to try out new ideas within their own classroom contexts and with the help of skilled colleagues. Professional development from this perspective, therefore, not only involves teachers attending training sessions such as workshops or conferences but also receiving on-site technical assistance and mentoring in new instructional techniques. To ensure that preschool teachers receive this kind of training, policy makers in early education have begun to create different types of teacher consultant positions such as mentors and curriculum coaches. This paper reports the findings of a time use study of 35 teacher consultants whose role was to provide curriculum assistance and professional development to preschool teachers in response to a court mandate. Using the retrospective time diary method, the teacher consultants were asked to account for all of their activities in a 24-hour period. On average, teacher consultants worked a 7-hour day, distributing this time primarily among 13 activities. Most of the teacher consultants' time was spent on teacher development activities such as providing classroom assistance, planning, and giving workshops. A factor analysis shows that if teacher consultants spend time in activities connected to working with teachers in classrooms, they are less likely to plan or give workshops to teachers. To ensure that teacher consultants can have their intended impact, policy makers are advised to provide specialized training and limit the number of responsibilities associated with this role.
|Translated title of the contribution||Mentoring for change: A time use study of teacher consultants in preschool reform|
|Journal||Early Childhood Research and Practice|
|State||Published - Mar 2004|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology