Reflective Peer Mentoring: Evolution of a Professional Development Program for Academic Librarians
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For librarians engaged in teaching and learning, reflection has the potential to create opportunities to examine one’s instructional practice, identify and address challenges, and find new instructional pathways. It can also lead to a deeper understanding of one’s teaching. As valuable as it is, it can be challenging for librarians to find time to deeply contemplate instruction experiences. In the fast-paced environment of academic libraries, reflection is too often passed over as we rush from one teaching experience to the next. Recognizing the value of reflective practice, a team of academic librarians at Memorial University created a peer mentoring program for librarians involved in information literacy and other forms of teaching. The goal was to create an inviting and collaborative environment for exploring and developing instructional self-awareness by working with librarian colleagues. The resulting Reflective Peer Mentoring (RPM) program requires minimal librarian time yet offers satisfying opportunities for brainstorming, problem solving, and reflection by bringing colleagues together into small co-mentored learning communities. This paper explores the successful evolution of this peer-based, collegial approach to reflection. It describes the inspiration and experimentation that led to the eventual creation of the RPM model, including Reflective Teaching & Observation (RTO), an earlier program founded on peer observation and collaborative exploration. It also describes the foundational principles that form the basis for the RPM program as well as the three-step framework on which it is structured. Finally, the article examines the information gathered and lessons learned from assessment of the program during the first year of implementation.
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Janet Goosney, Becky Smith, Shannon Gordon (2014). Reflective Peer Mentoring: Evolution of a Professional Development Program for Academic Librarians. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12028
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