Promentors PGM Seminar in Jyväskylä, Finland, October 11-14, 2021


The Promentors team was honored to be hosted by the University of Jyväskylä in Finland for the first hybrid seminar since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Most participants travelled to Finland while others joined online. Professor Hannu Heikkinen and Matti Pennanen, together with Reuma de Groot, Bilha Bashan and Shadia Sbait led an informative, innovative seminar based on the Peer Group Mentoring (PGM) model design and its implementation in the Israeli educational colleges’ mentors’ courses.

The first day began with a reflective assignment of the mentoring process called “My Mentoring Odyssey” during which the participants presented the most meaningful insights dealing with their experience of their mentor education and mentoring process. The day continued with a session on the professional development of teachers in Finland, focusing on lessons learnt from international comparative studies.

Day two of the seminar began with Israeli colleges’ presentations of the integration of the mentoring models in their mentors’ courses. The day continued with an introduction to SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, including dynamic and important group work analysis of the mentoring course.  The online group of European and Israeli participants compared the Israeli and European mentoring courses and programs which was enlightening. The second day continued with a presentation and discussion of being a (new) teacher in Finland which included perspectives of teacher autonomy, induction, and mentoring, with expert speakers including a Finnish principal and two teachers. The end of the day was a “sofa talk” led by Hannu Heikkinen.

The third and final day of the conference began with Hannu Heikkinen introducing to the seminar, mentoring and induction of new teachers in an ecosystem of education and a presentation of research publications and research groups connected to mentoring in education. Matti Pennanen then summarized the SWOT analysis group discussions. Sakhnin College continued with results of the evaluation of mentors’ work in the colleges. Talpiot College presented the implementation of the PGM model in the mentors’ course. The next session of the day included presentations based on the on data collected from the first year of implementation. Including an open discussion about insights gained from the evaluation process. Kaye College, then presented the mentee’s perspective of the process. The day continued with a presentation by Beit Berl, Levinsky and Kaye Colleges of best practices in conducting mentors’ courses within MITs according to mentor course facilitators. The day and conference concluded with the managerial aspects of the project.

The seminar was insightful and innovative in both its focus on research and the practical aspects of mentoring and mentors’ training. The University of Jyväskylä hosts were welcoming and inspiring. The Promentors team enjoyed every aspect of the seminar and the opportunity to learn more about Finnishand and European education and mentoring.

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