The Role of Reflection and Mentoring in ICT Teacher Professional Development : Dialogue and Learning Across the Hemispheres
As school-systems internationally seek to improve the models of professional development they are providing for their teachers to support them in integrating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in their teaching practice, growing opportunities emerge to compare and contrast approaches employed in different cultural contexts and to learn from each other. This paper arose from dialogue between the two writers about ICT professional development approaches being implemented in Norway and one regional area in Australia. Three programs of professional development, which the authors had been involved with, are described and these are compared and contrasted to reveal significant similarities and poignant differences between the approaches. The paper proposes some key success factors in ICT professional development, in particular, mentoring and reflection and goes on to illustrate how the comparative analysis of the approaches being used in different contexts was beneficial in informing further developments in both countries. In particular the paper argues that the processes and substance of reflection are critical to overall success, and that a focus on metacognitive reflection can support continuing professional learning outcomes for teachers.