11 SES 01, Beginning the Process as Educators
In this paper, the author presents the results of a research project which had as overarching objective to understand the practices, purposes and effects of research mentoring for ECRs in universities in two different contexts (the UK and Norway). This paper will explore the different perspectives mentees, mentors and mentoring coordinators have of mentoring as a tool for professional learning and development and career development. The particular focus of this paper will be on the concept of mentoring as a support mechanism for the complex environment of academia. Findings from this study show mentoring for ECRs is perceived as being supportive, developmental, empowering, individualised and supporting resilience. This research also shows that factors that impact on mentoring are linked with both mentor and mentee mindset, but also with the culture of the academic institution and the support mechanisms that are in place to ensure mentoring relationships fulfil their goals.
This paper stems from a qualitative research project that collected data through face to face interactions with participants in a multi case study. The selection of participating countries in this research project was purposive. The initial tasks for this project included a literature review on research mentoring in higher education, in particular, mentoring for ECRs. This allowed for the identification what is already known about research mentoring in higher education. This also informed the creation of the data generation instruments (i.e. focus group and interview protocols) and analysis in the subsequent stages of the research, and helped to contextualise findings. Documentary data, such as mentoring frameworks and policies, satisfaction questionnaires, performance indicators and others, was content analysed using a content analysis software (NVivo). Common themes or references to specific policies for ECRs professional learning and development needs and career development needs were coded and analysed in order to look for cross-references and overlapping themes to inform the production of the focus groups and interview protocols. Interviews and focus groups with mentors, mentees and academics who oversee the mentoring programmes of the participating institutions were carried out during the academic year 2016-2017. These interviews and focus groups allowed to explore the multi case study mentors, mentees and programme leaders’ accounts of how the mentoring for ECRs programmes work, what are the factors for success or failure of the mentoring programmes, how is this evaluated and impact on the overall career development of ECRs. These interviews and focus groups were piloted in a UK higher education institution to check for fitness for purpose of the focus group and interviews protocols. The data resulting from these focus group discussions and interviews was content analysed and forms the basis of the findings in this paper.
Findings from this study show mentoring for ECRs is perceived as being supportive, developmental, empowering, individualised and supporting resilience. This research also shows that factors that impact on mentoring are linked with both mentor and mentee mindset, but also with the culture of the academic institution and the support mechanisms that are in place to ensure mentoring relationships fulfil their goals.
Bean, N. M., Lucas, L., & Hyers, L.L. (2014). Mentoring in Higher Education should be the norm to assure success: lessons learned from the faculty mentoring program, West Chester University, 2008-2011. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 22(1), 56-73, doi: 10.1080/13611267.2014.882606 •Castanheira, P. (2016). Mentoring for educators’ professional learning and development: a meta-synthesis of IJMCE volumes 1-4. International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp. 334-346, DOI: 10.1108/IJMCE-10-2015-0030 Godden, L., Tregunna, L., & Kutsyuruba, B. (2014). Collaborative application of the Adaptive Mentorship© model. The professional and personal growth within a research triad. International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, 3(2), 125-140, doi: 10.1108/IJME-09-2013-0054 Keyser, D. J., Lakoski, J. M., Lara-Cinisomo, S., Schultz, D. J., Williams, V. L, Zellers, D. F., & Pincus, H. A. (2008). Advancing institutional efforts to support research mentorship: A conceptual framework and self-assessment tool. Academic Medicine 83(3), 217–25. Lumpkin, A. (2011). A Model for mentoring university faculty. The Educational Forum, 75(4), 357-368, doi: 10.1080/00131725.2011.602466 Marcellino, P. A. (2011). Fostering sustainability: A case study of a pilot mentoring program at a private university. Mentoring & Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, 19(4), 441-464, doi: 10.1080/13611267.2011.622079 Mathews, P. (2003). Academic mentoring. Enhancing the use of scarce resources. Educational Management and Administration, 31(3), London: Sage Mullen, C.A., & Hutinger J. (2008) At the tipping point? Role of formal faculty mentoring in changing university research cultures. Journal of In-Service Education, 34(2),181-204 Mullen, C. A., & Kennedy, C. S. (2007). It takes a village to raise faculty: Implementing triangular mentoring relationships, Florida Educational Leadership, 7(2), 24-27,. http://cnx.org/content/m14546/1.2/
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