|OP8: Learning through knowledge construction and co-construction|
|Thursday, 01 July 2010|
Learning through knowledge construction and co-construction:an evaluation of the Institute of Education’s Mentoring and Coaching Service
This evaluation of the Mentoring and Coaching Service attempts to explore the concepts of ‘construction’ and ‘co-construction’, to analyse whether indeed constructivist approaches to learning did support effective learning in coaching and mentoring, and how this could actually play out within the framework of the Service. This paper asks whether or when the learning in the Service manifested itself as receiving instruction (or training), despite an espoused aim for knowledge construction. It also enquires whether there is something about the mentoring/coaching encounter that makes a constructivist approach most useful and if so, what this is. This is done by drawing on interview data collected from eight clients of the Service. It examines the learning of mentors/coaches who were seeking, as well as giving, support, using interview data from 12 mentors/coaches. The researcher examines how constructivist the learning practice of mentors/coaches was and whether they co-constructed their learning in the sense of collaboration; or as participation, in either of the senses outlined by Edwards. Finally, conclusions are drawn about the interplay between the aspirations that clients and mentors/coaches had respectively, with especial reference to relationships at work; and how each group went about its learning in fulfilment of these aspirations.