What constitutes 'peer support' within peer supported development?
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AbstractPurpose: Peer supported schemes are replacing traditional Peer Observation of Teaching (PoT) programmes within some Higher Education Institutions. Peer supported schemes, whilst similar in philosophy to PoT, enable academic and academic related staff to support each other in non-teaching related activities. The purpose of this paper is to explore, therefore, the role of peer support in comparison with that of coaching and mentoring to clearly differentiate the activity. Design/methodology/approach: In 2010, one UK HEI appointed two Academic Fellows to implement and embed a 'Peer supported Development Scheme' (PSDS) within the institution. Through analysing the implementation process and drawing on activity conducted under such a scheme, this article examines the notion of 'peer support' in comparison to mentoring and coaching. The purpose of this will enable Academic Fellows to be able to better advise 'Supporters' how to work with colleagues and engage in structured dialogue to improve teaching and learning practice. Findings: The findings highlight that Peer support schemes are tangentially different to mentoring and coaching, however some activity undertaken as part of our peer supported scheme was actually mentoring and coaching. Therefore clearer guidance needs to be given to colleagues in order to steer the process towards 'peer support'. Originality/value: The PSDS discussed within this paper is only one of a few established within the UK and therefore findings from such schemes and how they are established are still emerging and will benefit other HEIs moving from PoT towards peer supported development.
CitationMonk, C. & Purnell, L. (2014) 'What constitutes 'peer support' within peer supported development?', Journal of Pedagogic Development, 4 (1), pp.38-47.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
JournalJournal of pedagogic development
Series/Report no.Volume 4
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