A 2, 500 word assignment which examines the role of the learning mentor and analyses the strategies used in supporting science, evaluating the impact on pupils’ learning.
This essay will explore and evaluate the role, the responsibilities and the purpose of the learning mentor. It will highlight and review strategies used in schools today to support children’s education, assisting them to develop skills and achieve their full potential. The learning mentor has a large range of duties which require the ability to encourage social inclusion, collaborate with external agencies for specialist support and expand care to families and carers. Responsibilities also include the contribution to the assessment of pupils, the transition and pastoral
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The role of the learning mentor was not only introduced to improve the progress of low ability students, following a report by J. Freeman in 1998 which investigated research on the teaching and learning of high ability children, the government recognised that ‘provision for the highly able was not satisfactory’ and that children who are gifted and talented ‘have as much of an entitlement to have their needs addressed’ OFSTED (2001). Therefore, learning mentors provide extended learning opportunities to pupils to assure the prevention of a ‘glass ceiling’ that could potentially restrict performance. Besides from the objectives set out by the government, the role of the learning mentor is complex and extensive. Good Practice Guidelines for Learning Mentors (DFES 2001) makes clear that they are disciplinarians, nor classroom assistants. They are an active listener, a role model, a guide who negotiates targets and supports pupils, carers and parents whilst remaining reliable, non judgemental and realistic. R. Rose and M Doveston (2008:145) defines mentoring as ‘learning within a social context’ with learning mentors recognising ‘the necessity to ensure that students feel both comfortable with and in control of the learning process.’ This social collaboration is clearly influenced by Vygotsky (1962) and his theory of social constructivism. A key point of Vygotskys theory is the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). As explain by