As the Head of Department, Department of Tourism at Centurion Academy, I identified an innovative idea to transform my mentoring practice. The Advanced Diploma in Tourism Management is offered at two campuses – the main campus in Centurion and the campus situated in Klerksdorp. I was based on the main campus and served as a peer mentor for my mentee, who was based on the Klerksdorp campus. The concept of blended mentoring that focuses on face-to-face mentoring and e-mentoring was opted for, due to the distance between my mentee and me.
The purpose of the mentoring was to facilitate my mentee’s professional development by adapting a whole brain® approach. My mentee, on the other hand, transformed her teaching practice by means of facilitating whole brain® learning in the Accounting module. We were both responsible for presenting the Accounting module – I was the examiner and followed a whole brain® approach (derived from previous study) and it was my mentee’s second year of lecturing Accounting. Adapting a whole brain® approach empowered us to transform our respective practices.
Whole brain® learning focuses on the theoretical framework of the metaphorical Herrmann whole brain® model. The Hermann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI®), which quantifies the degree of an individual’s preference for specific thinking modes, was used to assess my mentee, my mentee’s students who were enrolled for the Accounting module and my own thinking style preference. The data derived from the HBDI® served as baseline data for the study. An action research design was followed by both my mentee and me. We both followed our own action research spiral, which overlapped. My action research cycle commenced with a face-to-face mentoring session in Pretoria with my mentee. The study included two visits by me to the Klerksdorp campus. During these visits I observed learning opportunities presented by my mentee. Quantitative and qualitative data, a part from the HBDI®, was gathered during the study. Quantitative data included a feedback questionnaire that my mentee’s students had to complete after the completion of each Accounting theme and included the students’ marks. Qualitative data that was gathered included interviews with my mentee and her students, field notes from observations, audio-visual material from my mentee’s learning opportunities and personal documents.
The findings indicate that a whole brain® approach to mentoring and a whole brain® approach to facilitating learning in a teaching practice contributed to my and my mentee’s professional development. Other additional aspects that can be incorporated in a mentoring and teaching practice to ensure lifelong learning and a continuous transformation of one’s practice were identified during the final reflection on the action research cycle that was recorded.