Reframing Peer Mentoring as a Route for Developing an Educational Community of Practice

Laura Nicholson, Sara Rodriguez-Cuadrado, Clare Woolhouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
360 Downloads (Pure)


The benefits of peer mentoring in school settings are well-documented, however, the focus has been on the perceptions of teachers, as opposed to teaching assistants (TAs), who report distinct beliefs about their professional development. A mixed methodology was used in which 304 primary school TAs completed questionnaires regarding their views of their professional development while undertaking training on a mathematics intervention for underachieving pupils. Open-ended questions elicited the perceived benefits of the peer mentoring aspect of the training. We utilized Lave and Wenger’s (1991) community of practice framework to inform the qualitative analysis and the principles of grounded theory to arrive at three themes representing the perceived benefits: an opportunity to discuss and share experiences; increased confidence; and a safe space to test teaching plans and resources. Findings were used to reframe the benefits of peer mentoring for TAs undertaking intervention training, which can inform further research and future training programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-440
Number of pages21
JournalMentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning
Issue number4
Early online date7 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Peer mentoring
  • teaching assistants
  • communities of practice
  • intervention training


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