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MirandaNet Fellowship Casestudy

Membership List | Publications | Research | Specialist Area List | Braided Learning Ejournal

Teacher mentoring

Sarah Fletcher

Year of posting: 2005


Sarah Fletcher

International Consultant in Educational Mentoring
Senior Lecturer in Mentoring and Induction (secondary sector),
Department of Continuing Professional Development,
School of Education,
Bath Spa University,
Newton Park Campus,
Bath BA2 9BN

Personal Statement

I am a passionate teacher and mentor! I taught young people between the ages of 8 and 19  in schools in several parts of England between 1973 and 1994 and my subject areas were diverse – French, Spanish, English, History, Geography, RE, Art and Craft, Maths, Environmental Studies and very occasionally PE (not well!)  I came from the classroom to higher education fired with a desire to hear teachers’ voice valued in higher education.

I was puzzled that much of what I read as a new academic did not seem to be very related to my own experience as a teacher.  I became a mentor in 1992 for overseas teachers in the Licensed Teacher Scheme and as Head of Faculty in an upper school in Bedfordshire soon became mentor to many other colleagues and realised good mentoring is two-way.

It’s almost impossible to say where my personal and professional interest diverge – for I teach what I love and I love what I teach.  My interest in photography has sparked off my use of video and digital stills work in mentoring and my shaky skills in tailoring led me to become a needlework teacher alongside teaching French in a middle school in Suffolk.

My enjoyment of gardening resulted in running a mini enterprise project with children in a school greenhouse, growing plants for sale to parents and lettuces to the school canteen!

I’ve had and, despite illness, continue to have a wonderfully fulfilling career in education.

ICT Interests

My consuming interest is the construction of websites to assist teachers, mentors and students as researchers.  In 2002, I worked with my friend John Hewitt to construct a website at because I had been fortunate to work with almost 70 teachers in total who secured Best Practice Research Scholarships and I wanted to provide them (and me!) with a resource to inform, support and disseminate their work.

I have learnt so much working alongside teachers as an action research mentor and it is a continuing source of excitement for me to see teachers representing their knowledge.

I offer an open invitation to teachers to send me their research so that it can be posted to my website and I am delighted to announce that my website was NGFL badged in 2005.

My intention is to offer opportunities for teachers to learn how to engage with action research through mentoring in a way that will assist them, and their students, to learn.

This summer, 2005, I was offered the opportunity to work with a new group of teacher researchers at Bitterne Park School in Southampton and we agreed that we would work together to create web-based accounts of the teachers’ learning about action research and research mentoring.  We have used the Carnegie Foundation KEEP Toolkit templates and I hope you agree that these teachers’ work in content and layout is simply breathtaking!

You can see further examples on but these 2 really caught my eye:

Essentially my website is my c.v. and my hope and intention is find a way to develop an interactive database for teachers’ research so that it can be engaged with alongside more traditional forms of academic enquiry.  You can see my justification for developing such a resource in the PowerPoint that I co-presented with John Hewitt at Becta’s Research Conference in June 2005 accessible at

My wish, in joining the Mirandanet Fellowship, is to contribute to the pool of research into practice in all aspects of mentoring, using ICT to enable and support communication.


Fletcher, S.J. (under discussion, 2005) second edition of Mentoring in Schools, London, RoutledgeFalmer

Fletcher, S.J. (2005) in press a chapter entitled Research mentoring: The Missing Link in Educational Research, in an edited collection of writings on qualitative research enquiry (title yet to confirmed) by Bodone, F. (ed) USA New York, Peter Lang Publishers

Fletcher, S.J. (2003) Guidelines for DfES Best Practice Research Scholarships Research Mentors, accessed at, on 12 February 2003

Fletcher, S.J. (2003) ‘A Celebration of Mentor Research in Wiltshire,’ Wiltshire Journal of Education, Autumn Edition, pp. 4-8

Fletcher, S.J. and Meacher, C. (2003) ‘The Role of ICT in Teacher Research Mentoring,’ Computer Education, No. 105

Fletcher, S.J. and Whitehead, A.J. (2003) ‘The ‘Look’ of the Teacher, Using DV to improve the Professional Practice of Teaching’, in Clark, A. and Erickson, G. Teacher Inquiry, Living the Research in Everyday Practice, USA New York, Peter Lang

Fletcher, S.J. (2002) ‘Wiltshire Research and Development Group’ Wiltshire Journal of Education, Summer Edition, pp. 4-6.

Fletcher, S.J. (2002) What’s Teacher Research Got to Do with Me? Wiltshire Journal of Education Spring Edition, pp. 4-13

Fletcher, S.J. (2002) Teaching Teacher Professionalism, Feature Article on the web site for the General Teaching Council for England, January 2002

Fletcher, S.J. (2002) ‘Improving mentoring with action research and digital video technology’ Links Bulletin Vol. 25, pp. 25-26 London, Centre for Information on Language Teaching and Research

Fletcher, S.J. (2000) A Role for Imagery in Mentoring, in Career Development International, Vol. 5 (4/5) pp. 235-243

Fletcher, S.J. (2000) Mentoring in Schools: A Handbook for Good Practice London, Kogan Page,

Fletcher, S.J. (1999) ‘Essay Review of Reconceptualising Teaching Practice’, by M.L. Hamilton (ed) in Management in Education, Vol. 13 (3)

Fletcher, S.J. (1998). ‘Attaining Self-Actualization Through Mentoring’ European Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 21 (21) pp. 109-118

Fletcher, S.J. (1997) ‘From Mentor to Mentored’ Mentoring and Tutoring, Vol 5 (1) pp. 48-55

Fletcher, S.J. (1997) ‘ITE and Form Tutor Mentoring’, Mentoring and Tutoring, Vol. 4 (3) pp. 45-51

Fletcher, S.J. (1997) Modelling Reflective Practice for Pre-Service Teachers: The Role of Teacher Educators, An Essay-Review of Developing Reflective Practice: Learning about Teaching and Learning Through Modelling, Loughran, J. (1996) London, Falmer in Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol. 13 (2) pp. 237-243

Fletcher, S.J. (1995) ‘Caveat Mentor’, Language Learning Journal for the Association of Language Learners, Volume 11 (March) pp. 39-40

Fletcher, S.J. and Calvert, M. (1994) Working With Your Student Teacher, Mary Glasgow Publications, Cheltenham.

Fletcher, S.J. (1994) ‘Underachievement among students of Modern Languages’, Forum, Institute of Education, London

Fletcher, S.J. (1994) Splendid Ideas for Spanish Teachers, London, HarperCollins

Fletcher, S.J. (1992) Underachievement in Modern Languages at 16 +, MA awarded by the Institute of Education, London

Fletcher, S.J. (1978) Bien Joué, French Teaching Games, London, E.J.Arnold

Fletcher, S.J. (1978) Pupils’ Supplementary Materials for En Avant Stage Two, published as part of materials produced by a working party convened by Tydeman, M., York, UK, Robert Prestwich

Public presentations of my research include:

Fletcher, S. and Hewitt, J. (2005) Teachers as Learners and Researchers, Becta Research Conference, Birmingham
Fletcher, S. and Whitehead, J. (2005) How Do our Web-based Resources Reveal Living Standards of Democratic Accountability in our Educational Practices? American Educational Research Association, Annual Conference

Fletcher, S., Riding, S. and Riding, R.(2005)  The Role of Action Research Mentoring Becta’s Action Research Seminar, University of Warwick, Coventry, March

Fletcher, S. and Coombs, S. (2004) Mentoring, Action Research and Critical Thinking Scaffolds: Promoting and sustaining practitioner research through reflective practice. CARN 2004 Conference University Malaga – Malaga, Spain, 5th -6th November

Fletcher, S. (2004) BERA 2004 Annual Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, September 14-18, four papers for presentation:

Symposium convened by Whitehead, J. (University of Bath) Murray, P. (Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester) Rev. Je Kan Adler-Collins, Fukuyoka University, Japan. How are my embodied values within my educational multiplicity as a professional educator influencing and influenced by my practice?

Fletcher, S. and Adler-Collins, Je Kan, of Fukuoka University, Japan You are a stranger among us: exclusional practice in research communities

Fletcher, S. How do I perceive changes in educational practice across Japan engendered by action research and mentoring? 

Fletcher, S. and Bognar, B. teacher research mentor in Croatia, Action research mentoring for supporting professional development of teachers as learners: a growth of understanding in English and Croatian educational contexts

Fletcher, S. (2004) The role of research mentoring in teachers’ professional development Paper presented to the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, April 2004

Fletcher, S. (2003) Integrating action research and mentoring for teachers’ professional development, Tokorosawa Teachers’ Centre, keynote speech and workshop Tokyo, Japan

Fletcher, S. (2003) How am I developing my work as a research mentor working with teacher researchers? Paper presented to the British Educational Research Association, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, September 2003

Fletcher, S. and Hewitt, J.A. (2003) Let's have a laugh: The role of humour in educational relationships, paper presented to the British Educational Research Association, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, September 2003

Fletcher, S.J., Meacher, C. and Collins, K. (2003) The Use of ICT in ITE presentation to the British Education and Communications Technology Agency, July 2003

Fletcher, S.J. Riding, S. and Collins, K. (2003) Listening to Learn, Virtual presentation and conference paper at the Learning Conference, London, July 18

Fletcher, S.J. (2003) Accounting for my Practice as a Research Mentor, paper presented to the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, April 2003

Fletcher, S.J. and Whitehead, J. (2003) How are we as professional educators, using ethical guidelines in our self-study, multi-media accounts to explain our educational development and our influence in the education of other individuals and social formations? Paper presented to the British Educational Research Association, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

Fletcher, S.J. (2002) new web site at

Fletcher, S.J. (2002) Ethics, Values and Validity, paper presented to the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans as part of a symposium convened by Feldman, A. March 2002

Fletcher, SJ. (2002) Beyond Parochialism; preparing global educators, paper presented to the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, April 2002

Fletcher, S.J. (2002) promoting Effective Leaning through action research in Mathematics, presentation to KS3 mathematics Conference, ESIS, Wales, 26 March

Fletcher, S.J. (2001) Lecture and Workshop on Action Research at Ochanomizu University, Tokyo,

Fletcher, S.J. and Adler Collins, J. (2001) An Integration of Mentoring and Action Research, presentation to nurse educators at the University of Tokyo, Japan, December

Fletcher, S., Childs, K. and Zeni J. (2001) Seeing How we Live out Our Values as Educators, a symposium chaired by A.J.Whitehead at the International Conference for Teacher Research, Richmond British Columbia, Canada, April

Fletcher, S. and Whitehead, J. (2001) How Do I see My Values and How Are my Values Seen by Others Within our Educative Relationship?  How Does that 'Seeing' Shape Their Learning and Mine?' Paper presented at the International Conference on Teacher Research in Vancouver, April

Fletcher, S.J., Russ, J. and Cunningham, R. et al (2001) Addressing Underachievement of Boys, joint presentation at the British Educational Research Association, University of York, September 2

Fletcher, S.J. (2001) Mentoring and Action Research, presentation convened at the DfEE/TTA Conference London Using Research and Evidence to Improve Teaching and Learning, London, 7 March 2001

Fletcher, S.J. (2001) Using Digital Video to Improve mentoring in ITE Keynote speaker at the Conference for the Centre on Information for Language Teaching and Research, Bath University

Fletcher, S.J. (2000) A Role for Imagery in ITT? Paper presented to the America Educational Research Association Montreal, April 2000

Fletcher, S.J. (2000) Creativity in Secondary School Partnerships, Association for Partnership in Teacher Education, University of Exeter, 10-11 July 2000

Fletcher, S.J. (2000) Creative ways to use beginning teachers in schools, TTA Conference, ‘Preparing the teachers of tomorrow’, London, 5 May 2000

Fletcher, S.J. (2000) Using Video to Enhance our Practice as Teacher Educators, paper presented at the Graduate School of Education, The University of Bristol, 22 November 2002

Fletcher, S.J. (2000) new web site at

Fletcher, S. J. (2000) Using Video to Enhance our Practice as Teacher Educators, paper presented to the Graduate School of Education, The University of Bristol, 22 November

Fletcher, S.J and Whitehead, A.J. (2000) Mentoring and Action Research, workshop and lecture at the Akashi Laboratory School University of Kobe, Japan, December 2000

Fletcher, S.J. and Childs, K. (2000) Visions of Excellence: Possible Selves, paper presented to the International Conference on Teacher Research, Baton Rouge, Louisiana April 28-30

Fletcher, S.J. and Childs, K. (2000) Visions of Excellence, paper presented at the Third International Conference on Self Study of Teacher Education Practices, Herstmonceux castle, Sussex, July 23-27

Fletcher, S.J. (1999) A Role for Visualisation in the Education of Pre-service Teachers, paper presented to the American Educational research Association, Montreal 1999

Fletcher, S.J.(1999) A role for imagery in mentoring? Paper presented to the Sixth European Mentoring Conference, St. Neots, Cambridge, November 26 1999

Fletcher, S.J. and Whitehead, J. (1999). How are we improving our teaching as we research ourselves as living contradictions and multiple selves in our educative relationships with our students and social contexts? Paper presented at BERA University of Brighton.

Fletcher, S.J. (1996) ITE and Form Tutor Mentoring, presentation to the British Educational Research Association Annual Conference at the University of Exeter, September 1996

Fletcher, S.J. (1996) Gender, Mentoring and Motivation, presentation for Dorset LEA and seminar at the University of Bath

Fletcher, S.J. (1995) The Need for Teacher Induction, paper presented to the Association for Language Learners Annual Conference at the University of York

Fletcher, S.J. (1995) Motivation and Mentoring paper presented at the European Conference for Educational Research, University of Bath

Forthcoming Presentations:

BERA Conference 2005 University of Glamorgan September 14-18 September

Mentoring and Coaching Special Interest Group: Convenor Sarah Fletcher

SIG Business Meeting 14.15 - 15.15 15/09/05

Our proposals have been accepted to present the following papers for the Mentoring and Coaching Special Interest Group

Tadashi Asada and Yuko Uosaki, A Study on the Function of Mentoring in Student Teaching in Japan

Sarah Fletcher, Integrating mentoring and action research into Kounai-ken: teachers' professional development with Japanese abilities

Takashi Ikuta, Case study of the development of student teacher practical knowledge using action research and mentoring

Steven Coombs and Sarah Fletcher, Mentoring, Action Research and Critical Thinking Scaffolds: promoting and sustaining practitioner research through reflective practice.

Supporting Students-as-Researchers using Educational Technology

Presentation: Sarah Fletcher, Karen Collins

Learning about e-mentoring as reflective and reflexive practitioners – first steps

Presentation: Sarah Fletcher (with Diane Allen as co-author, non presenter)

BERA Practitioner Researcher Special Interest Group Conference,

Liverpool Hope University College, Liverpool, Merseyside 15 October

How Do we Collaborate to Initiate and Sustain Practitioner Research?

Proposal in process for a symposium convened by Sarah Fletcher with Steve Coombs, Simon Riding, Karen Riding, Emma Kirby, Donna Chipping and Rachele Morse.

PRAR/CARN Conference, Utrecht, Holland, 4-6 November 2005

New media and new models of continuing professional development

The six related papers in this symposium investigate new models of continuing professional development that promote constructive and co-constructive learning for teachers. All the participants are engaged in the development of communities of practice which rely on the internet for e-facilitated learning and e-publication. The activities of these reflective communities have been researched from a range of perspectives. The international MirandaNet community is explored in depth with three examples of the mode of operation. The MirandaNet model is compared and contrasted with other communities of practice being developed between China, Croatia, South Africa and The Netherlands. Ementoring and efacilitation are Important new skills which have been mastered by the members of these communities. Practice based research is the main teaching method which is discussed where teachers identify an educational problem they would like to solve by using new media as a catalyst for change in teaching and learning. These new kinds of learning require innovative assessment methods. The symposium presents research into the development of a tool kit which can be used to scaffold the project management tasks demanded b=y practice based research.

Sarah Fletcher

Practice based research provides the medium in this paper for professional cultural exchange between colleagues in China, Croatia and across the UK. The focus is on the  web-pages created by teachers as they become action research mentors for one another. Findings indicate practice can be improved by this reflective international interchange.

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