3 things that you can do right now

Consider the theory that lies behind some of your key practices and make these explicit to your mentee.  Ensure that you are making links between theory and practice explicit.

Familiarise yourself with the programme modules/curriculum of the programme that your mentee is following.  Ensure that you are linking what happens in the classroom, with what your mentee is learning in their CPD sessions.

Explicitly highlight examples of well-grounded theory and research in your mentee's teaching.  Explain the impact it had on the pupils' learning and this will allow the mentee to understand how they are impacting on progress.

In this section

Make Links

In this section we focus on:

  • linking theory and practice, helping teachers to deepen and broaden their learning from experiences

In a similar way to the children in your class, your mentee will not learn from reading a textbook alone. If they are a trainee teacher, they will need an opportunity to see how what they have been learning and reading about during training days, fits in with the reality of the classroom. If they are a teacher in the early stages of their teaching career, they will still be attending training that needs to be given context within their employing school. You will need to guide them through this and make explicit links to relevant pedagogy. An obvious example might be talking to a mentee about the numicon a pupil within class is using to support with their maths. This very clearly links to Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal development, along with lots of other well-established theories of learning. The challenge here, is making sure you identify the things you are doing as part of your day to day practise. A lot of what you do without thinking about it, will be embedded in well researched and respected theories of pedagogy. When you are able to do this, it allows the mentee to implement a pedagogical approach, review it, adapt it and measure its impact. This in turn allows the mentee to make an informed judgement about whether that approach is something they want to ensure is part of their day-to-day teaching. For teachers in the early stages of their career, you may find it necessary or useful to make links to your school’s curriculum, as well as linking to pedagogy. Understanding how the curriculum is sequenced and put together, is difficult to understand when you are first working within schools. Explaining why an area of a subject is being taught at a specific time of the year, can be enlightening for a newly qualified teacher and, by making links between theory, curriculum and the practical environment of the classroom, you are allowing your mentee to not only be aware of established best practice but also to start demonstrating these principles within their own teaching.

What makes great pedagogy and great professional development: final report

Although from 2014, this report outlines what pedagogy is and how professionals can impact on this during their careers.  Useful suggestions and case studies allow the reader to contextualise and evaluate the realities of implementing some of the recommendations.

Read the report here.

STEM Primary Resources


A fantastic online resource that covers a wider range of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) materials that are useful to all primary teachers at any stage of their career. Invaluable pool of resources for both teacher educators and trainees.

View the resources here.

Strategies and Models for Teachers: Teaching Content and Thinking Skills
Paul Eggen and Don Kauchak (Pearson, 2011)

This text is focussed on how to be an effective music teacher but the points made are applicable to all practitioners, across all Key Stages.

Social Learning Theory
Albert Bandura (General Learning Press, 1977)

A wide-ranging text that focuses on a concept known as Social Learning Theory.  The text focuses on the idea that we learn through observing other people’s professional behaviours and the outcome of these behaviours.

Coming soon.

Make Links - Further Development


Make Links