10 SES 09 D, Transformational Leadership and Didethics - A Potent Combination?
Mentoring programs are becoming increasingly popular in the higher education landscape, aiming at supporting specific disadvantaged or underrepresented groups. Among many other target groups, socially disadvantaged children constitute a focus of many mentoring programs. Generally, these mentoring programs aim at preventing from risky behaviour and at fostering the general development of the mentees, including higher aspirations in education, greater self-confidence and better relationships.
On the one hand, effects of mentoring programs on mentees are empirically identified multiple times. The available evidence suggests that mentees are less likely to consume alcohol and illegal drug than comparable children that do not participate in a mentoring program; that the mentees miss less school days and show better academic behaviour and attitudes than their counterparts; and that they show a better relationship with their parents than before the programme (Tierney, Grossman, & Resch, 2000, p. 29). Regarding the benefits for academic performance as well as for self-worth and self-confidence, the available evidence is, however, inconsistent (Topping & Hill, 1995). Involved teachers expect that the mentees would broaden their living horizon, develop new interests and gain stimulating experiences (Özcelik, Stenzel, Blankenburg, & Menzel, 2012).
On the other hand, it seems to be clear that the empirically identified effects describe rather a potential for mentees than actual effects that happen more or less automatically (see in this regard the early discussion in Topping & Hill, 1995). Against this background, more recent research has focussed on preconditions for effective mentoring programs and has investigated, among others, mentee and mentors characteristics as well as program characteristics that facilitate or optimize the expected effects on mentees (see for an extended overview Feu & Prieto-Flores, 2011).
With regard to possible effects for the mentors, the available evidence is still very sparse. In form of anecdotal evidence, the respective potential is suggested in terms of enhanced tolerance, increased awareness for foreign thinking styles as well as in terms of insights in unknown living conditions (Özcelik, et al., 2012). In this sense, mentors expect to get to know other cultures, to engage in intercultural encounters, to develop one’s own intercultural sensitivity, to see other ways of life and to broaden one’s own horizon, specifically with regard to disadvantaged social strata (Özcelik, et al., 2012). Grander (2011, p. 65) argues that mentoring programs would offer „a unique learning process, a process that is not covered in the regular education system“ (ibid.). He reports that mentors would gain knowledge of societal boundaries and develop their intercultural competence. However, the empirical foundation of these reports is very weak. Against this background, the presented project aims at providing more solid evidence regarding the question how pre-service teachers can benefit from their mentoring experiences and how these experiences contribute to the their professional development. It proposes empirical answers to the question whether mentoring experiences contribute to develop teaching-specific competences.
Feu, J., & Prieto-Flores, Ò. (2011). Impact of mentoring practices on mentee's educational aspirations and expectations. Experiences from the Nightingale mentoring scheme. Paper presented at the European Conference on Educational Research: Berlin, September 2011. Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (2005). Grounded Theory. Strategien qualitativer Forschung (2., korrigierte Auflage ed.). Bern: Huber. Grander, M. (2011). Learning through mentoring. Mentors as bearers of a model of learning for an integrated society. Pedagogia i Treball Social. Revista de Ciències Socials Aplicades, 1(1), 51-75. Mayring, P. (2008). Qualitative Inhaltsanalyse. Grundlagen und Techniken (10., neu ausgestattete Auflage ed.). Weinheim: Beltz. Özcelik, T., Stenzel, F., Blankenburg, A., & Menzel, E. (2012). Interkulturelle Begegnungen im Nightingale Mentoring-Projekt an der Freien Universität Berlin. In B. Berendt, J. Wildt & B. Szczyrba (Eds.), Neues Handbuch Hochschullehre (pp. 5.15.11-15.15.26). Stuttgart: Raabe Verlags-GmbH. Tierney, J. P., Grossman, J. B., & Resch, N. L. (2000). Making a Difference. An Impact Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Philadelphia Public/Private Ventures. Topping, K., & Hill, S. (1995). University and college students as tutors for school children: a typology and review of evaluation research. In S. Goodlad (Ed.), Students as Tutors and Mentors (pp. 13-31). London: Kogan Page.
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