Culture and teacher professional development : Exploring male and female mentors’ and mentees’ experiences of professional development in the Baltistan Region of Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan


Shujaat Ali

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education


Teacher professional development (TPD) is a process to enhance knowledge and skills of the teachers to improve quality of teaching and learning in schools. It further strengthens teachers’ prospect about their profession by fostering positive change in their attitude, beliefs, perceptions and ideology. Moreover, TPD enables teachers to enhance their personal and professional effectiveness and competence. While meeting their PD targets, the teachers experience number of successes and challenges due to local cultural context in which they are situated. The aim of the current study was to explore the experiences of male and female mentors and mentees in an ongoing field-based in-service mentor-mentee model of PD in the Baltistan region of Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan. In particular, the study examined how the local cultural context of the Baltistan region shaped or guided the experiences of the male and female mentors and mentees while participating in the PD process. It further explored the role of local cultural context in the successes and challenges to meet the PD targets of the male and female mentors and mentees. The case study method of qualitative research design was employed and semi structured interviews and mentees’ classroom observations were used to generate and collect the data. The research was conducted in two clusters; one is mentored by a male teacher and another with a female mentor. A male and a female mentee from each cluster were inducted in the study. Thus, the primary participants were six in total including a male mentor, a female mentor, two male mentees and two female mentees who were selected through purposive sampling technique. The key findings of study have revealed that mentors’ and mentees’ experiences of PD were shaped by the cultural context. The interactions of male and female mentors and mentees in PD process were directed by the local cultural norms. Furthermore, the religious activities of the local context had an influence on participations’ experiences of PD in terms of curtailing the frequency of prescheduled PD activities. The PD process also helped them to develop their knowledge and skills of teaching language in early grades. The findings also indicated that participation in PD immensely contributed to the development of both the mentors’ and mentees’ sense of professional identities.

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