MENTORING IN HIGHER EDUCATION

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CHAPTER THREE AN EXPLORATION OF MENTORING MODELS AND METHODS

INTRODUCTION

The last chapter explored possible models for skills development which can be applied for the development of lecturer research skills. Considerations of the problem (low lecturer research output), the context (university) and the nature of the affected population (adults) suggest the application of mentoring. Wong and Premkumar (2007) support mentoring by pointing out that it is rooted in principles of adult learning and has been used to develop individuals in education, health, business and social life in general. Pedler and Christine (2013) claim that mentoring is rooted in an experiential learning philosophy which promotes mentee’s cognitive and emotional development, leadership and social integration through involvement. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the concept of mentoring to expand readers’ horizons of mentorship as a basis for a conceptual model for developing lecturer research skills. It starts by a brief history of mentoring, examines the different concepts of mentoring, mentoring models and methods which can be used. The chapter also investigates the application of mentoring programs in a developed country (Australia) and a developing country (e.g., Zimbabwe) for contextual strengths and limitations.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF MENTORING

Ragins and Kram (1985) and Klasen (2002) trace the genesis of mentoring from the Greek mythology in which Odysseus, King of Ithaca, entrusted his household to Mentor who was a teacher and overseer of his son, Telemachus, while the king went to war for a long time. Mentor was an individual’s name which has become a title for a trusted advisor, friend, teacher and wise person. This view stresses the need for a mentor to be trustworthy. Daloz (1986) regards Mentor as the transition figure in Telemachus’ life during the journey from youth to manhood. This long journey of life is marked by the development of social and vocational skills for survival. As a result, mentoring has been conceived as a transitional process to develop a mentee from one skills level to another. The French use the term protégé to describe the role of the learner and power relationship between such a learner and teacher. Manza (2005), underline the observation that mentoring is a relationship not a program. This view classifies mentoring as a social construct that requires more understanding than the surface can offer.
In addition, an analysis of the Greek mythology points to the following characteristics of mentoring as a process:
Mentoring is an intentional process. It has objectives and possible outcomes.
Mentoring is a nurturing process fostering the development of the mentee towards his/her full potential in a specific content and skills area.
Mentoring is an insightful process in which the mentor’s wisdom is acquired as discoveries and applied by the mentee.
Mentoring includes the transfer of knowledge and skills from mentor to mentee.
Allegorically Daloz (1986:17) describes mentors as guides who lead in the journey of life by casting light on the way ahead, interpreting arcane signs, warning of lurking dangers and pointing at unexpected delights along the way. The journey of life requires what Kram (1985) called vocational and psychosocial mentoring. This perception acknowledges Thomas’ (2001) view that mentoring has expanded beyond career development to include personal relationships between mentor and mentee. Wright-Harp and Cole (2008: 4) view mentoring as a developmental partnership through which one person shares knowledge, skills, information and perspectives to foster the personal and professional growth of another. Mentoring can be viewed as an assisted personal growth process.
In North America, mentoring is still associated with its historical roots where the learner is younger, less powerful and in need of support, and is guided by an older, more senior and more powerful individual (Manza, 2005). The aim of mentoring is primarily that of sponsorship and advising on career development (Klasen, 2002). The purpose of this study is not lecturer career development; hence this North American perspective of mentoring may not be the ideal. It could raise more challenges to fulfil because lecturers are not being sponsored for participating in this study.
In the European context, the mentor is not necessarily a more senior person, nor is he or she supposed to be more powerful than the learner (Wright-Harp and Cole, 2008). According to Eby and McManus (2004) a mentor should have more experience in the needs of the mentee. Implied for this study is the deduction that lecturers at Mentors University can be mentored by an academic who does not have a PhD but is more experienced in writing publishable papers as evidenced by his/her publication record in accredited journals. In this case Wentling (1992) prefers mentorship to emphasize mentee self-managed mutual learning and development.
Although mentoring history traces mentoring to mythology, Ragins and Kram (1999) claim that mentoring is not a myth. It is a real relationship that has been an integral part of social life and the world of work. Bozeman and Freeney (2007) consider mentoring as an informal transmission of knowledge, a social capital and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career or professional development. Since the 1970s, mentoring has spread in the United Kingdom and United States of America as an effective method for training and was described by Odiorne (1985) as an innovation in American management. The strengths of mentoring for skills development reflected in this brief history compelled the researcher to consider it for lecturer research skills development.

Definitions of Mentoring

Mentoring relationships have been defined from different angles. From an industrial perspective, Werner, Sano, and Ngalo (2011:326) define mentoring as the process by which the knowledge, skills, and life experiences of a selected manager or other senior employee are transmitted to another employee in the organizational system for the purpose of developing that employee for greater work-place efficiency and effectiveness. Its focus is on skills development for job succession in an organization. This definition is appropriate for formal mentoring. According to Kram (1985), this is the vocational or instrumental function of mentoring. This study requires the instrumental function of mentoring for research skills development. Lecturers need the skill to publish as an instrument for their tenure and promotion.
From a traditional mentoring perspective, Carter and Lewis (1994:8) describe mentoring as, “a process where one person offers help, guidance, advice and support to facilitate the learning and development of another person.” This expresses the psychosocial perception of mentee total development for which Kram (1985) advocated. It is learner centred and was endorsed by Megginson and Clutterbuck (2009) when they define mentoring as the off-line help offered by one person to another making significant transition in knowledge, work or thinking. This encompasses mentee’s cognitive, competency and social development. Barondess (1995) considered such mentoring as a gift relationship whose object must catch the eye, hand, mind and heart of both the mentor and mentee. One can link this to the apprentice adage in which the observation (eye), do (hand), think or reflect (mind) and internalize are of paramount importance. For research skills development, the eye can identify problems, the hand collect data which ends up being interpreted by the mind before reporting.
Bozeman and Freeney (2007) emphasize the role of communication in mentoring. They regarded mentoring as a face-to-face informal communication between a person perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom or experience (the mentor) and a person perceived to have less (the mentee). The word ‘perceived’ is relative. It depends on the nature of the task and the population. In research, the mentor may know more about research for publication and the mentee may know more about computer applications for data analysis and presentation. Kram (1985) extended the definition of mentoring to involve exposure and challenging assignments. Ryan (2008) stresses that mentoring is more of an advice than instruction giving role. Actually Bolam and McMahon (1995) advise mentors not to prescribe solutions but support and encourage, challenge and push the mentee forward. As such, mentoring is focused on long-term career development. This perspective can fit a university situation where lecturers have autonomy over what they learn and teach. Researching skills acquisition has long-term rewards which may include mentoring of others.
According to Parsloe (2000) the purpose of mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximize their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be. By stressing ‘their’ this definition is mentee centred and appropriate for adult learners who define what they want to learn, how they want to learn it and when they want to learn. It has a life-long learning and empowering connation advocated for by Freire (2000). Pedler and Christine (2013:62) declare that mentoring has an emancipator effect. It helps people overcome oppression and attain their highest human potentials. Oppression is not necessarily limited to the political arena. In this study, lecturers who have not published are deprived of privileges associated with tenure and conduct, which is a clear indicator of academic oppression within the system. To this end, mentors aim to empower mentees by developing their capacity and competence to research and publish. In simple terms, Cutler (2004) advises mentors to teach mentees to fish rather than giving them fish.
The Australian Catholic University Mentoring Policy (2008) concludes that mentoring definitions agree that mentoring is a voluntary collaborative engagement, centred on agreed expectations and is mutually valuable. An analysis of the definitions of mentoring reveals that mentoring adults should cover both the vocational and psychosocial dimensions. The role of mentors in this study is to assist mentees in their transitions from one level of research competency to another. Mentors can help mentees learn from their past successes and failures through reflection and critical self evaluation on a voluntary basis. To that end, mentors need more than one mentoring technique.

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MENTORSHIP MODELS

Attachment

Attachment also referred to as one-on-one coaching is a mentoring model in which the mentee works with a qualified and experienced worker for skills transfer. This model satisfies Kram’s (1985) vocational mentoring. Aubrey and Cohen (2007) call it accompanying. The mentor makes a commitment in a caring way that involves taking part in the learning process side-by-side with the learner. This has more characteristics of apprenticeship than mentoring. According to Wong and Premkumar (2007), the apprentice model stress learning by observation and imitation. It can be appropriate for formal mentorship organized by the institution. What is critical is the fact that the attaché plays a subservient role to supervisor. Instruction is composed of lectures, demonstrations and supervised practicals. According to Bright et al (2014), attachment provides a one-on-one or face–to-face contact between the mentor and mentee. It is ideal when the mentor and mentee are doing the same task at the same level and time. In Zimbabwe this is done for the development of primary school trainee-teachers’ skills.
Hoyle (1986) recommends the application of a one-on-one mentoring in education. In this case a student teacher teaches the same class with a qualified teacher. Matching one student to one teacher is appropriate for the development of teaching skills. The set up allows for observation of students’ reactions, discussions and treatment of unexpected episodes. Real life situations are used in attachment. Carvin (2011) registers the following strengths of a one-on-one mentoring relation: it is based in the use of real life situations, sharing of mentor and mentee experiences and allowing the mentee to overshadow the mentor.
Foster (2001) reports that in the US, one-on-one mentoring is used to mentor children. One child is monitored by one volunteer adult. It was found to reduce illegal drugs by children, abuse of alcohol and skipping school lessons. The Big Brothers project in Kentucky targeted African-American adolescents between 14 to 16 years. It aimed to promote the integration of African-American students in schools.
Carvin (2011) encourages mentors to use qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate the mentee’s progress. In qualitative studies, the period of attachment is determined by duration in which no new cases are expected. White (2005) calls it variable saturation point. In education in Zimbabwe, a term or year is used (Chauraya, 2006). In such a long period, the development of formal and informal relationships is critical to sustain the mentoring relationship. The major hurdle with the use of attachment to develop lecturer research skills in Zimbabwe is the lack of mentors (Nherera, 2000). In the university context, PhD holders are expected to mentor others, but their job descriptions are silent about it. The majority of PhD holders are not committed to mentoring for free and none of them trained for developing research skills by mentoring.

On-line or E-mentoring

On-line mentoring can be classified as a one-on-one mentoring if one mentee is being assisted by one mentor communicating on-line. This is common in technologically developed countries where Information Communication Technology (ICT) is common language, and the use of cell phones, e-mail, chart rooms and online mentorship is encouraged. It is ideal to cater for large geographical distances between mentor and mentees. Foster (2001) observes that on-line mentoring increases mentee’s attitudes towards reading and also increase the number of books they read. At times it can also facilitate communication between peers during peer mentoring. However, it lacks the personal bonding common between mentor and mentee when they meet regularly.
On-line mentoring only may not be very ideal for lecturer research skills development due to the current shortage of technological expertise. Salih (2003) observed that the majority of lecturers are not computer literate. According to Allee (2000), the visual element present in face-to-face mentorship is missing in e-mentoring hence emotions cannot be identified for development. It may also increase chances of conflict due to language misunderstandings and registers. Electronic mentoring may also impinge on employees’ confidentiality. There is need to consider the next model of peer-mentoring.

Peer Mentoring

Peer mentoring is based on the European context in which the mentor is not necessarily a more senior person but an expert in the needs of the mentee (Wentling, 1992). It acknowledges that some mentees have effective mentoring methods and expertise which can benefit others. It can be done by lecturers at the same level or students in the same university. Peer-mentoring can be formal or informal. For example a university can request senior students to induct new students. This is formal peer mentoring. Informal peer mentoring arises when students who have specific problems, say using a computer for data analysis, approach someone who they consider to be knowledgeable for help. It is spontaneous and motivated by a problem that needs a solution there and then.
Zachary (2011) points out that peer groups should involve peers with similar learning needs. This can be appropriate for lecturers with a common problem of low research output. The peer group can be self-directed and self-managed to provide the required skills. The group can be encouraged to craft its own mentoring agenda and activities.
Peer mentoring has several advantages for individual mentees. Zachary (2011) highlights that collective wisdom is harnessed to solve the problem when peer group mentoring is applied. Kram (1985) confirm the importance of peer relationships for psychosocial and career development across all stages of an individual’s career. They found that through peer relationships, individuals shared information freely, planned career strategies, provided job-related feedback, engaged in emotional support and friendship and shared mutuality of needs, resources and interests. In this study, participants are adults expected to benefit more from their peers. Informal communications contribute to the development of relationships in peer mentoring. Participants enjoy the possibility of equal power basis in the relationship.
It is important to include peer-mentoring aspects in lecturer research development mentoring to facilitate mentees’ benefits from each other. This is supported by Klasen (2002) who established that peer relationships provide higher quality exchanges, greater reciprocity and greater continuity. A single mentor can suffice for such guidance.

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Team Mentoring

There are basically three forms of team mentoring which can be used in organizations. They are discussed in the following paragraphs. The critical indicator of team mentoring is that more than one mentor works with a mentee or one mentor working with more than one mentee.

Multiple Mentoring Models

Multiple mentoring is based on the assumption that individuals rely on multiple individuals for development support in their careers (Kram, 1985). As a result, career development mentoring calls for more than one mentor. Huggins and Kram (2001) suggest a combination of the social network theory and social network methods with research on mentoring to support multiple mentoring. In fact, an individual’s career and psychosocial developmental network is a subset of his/her entire social network. This calls for mentee exposure to multiple experts. Kram and Huggins and Kram (2001) note that although success in business requires a single mentor to show you the ropes and open the right doors, the current situation is that a single mentor cannot keep up with all the challenges of the technological and social fast-moving world of work. They called for the creation and cultivation of developmental networks. Small groups of people (mentors) who provide regular advice and support to workers in any organization are required. This is a critical need in a new university where the majority of employees are grappling in the dark for research skills to save themselves from the ‘publish or perish’ peril.
Klasen (2002) propose that in a multiple mentor model, a group of mentors can take on one or more mentees. This model is encouraged by an increasing number of firms who believe that their employees can benefit most from working with a diverse group of mentors. Thompson (2000) and Clutterbuck and Ragins (2001) concur that multiple mentoring is ideal in situations where mentees require different specialized skills. In lecturer research competency development, mentees may require writing skills, computer skills and data gathering skills or research publication skills which call for different expertise hence multiple mentoring can be ideal for this study if the experts are available.
One can deduce that the multiple mentor model is designed for career or professional development of an employee requiring several skills. Specialist mentors assist one mentee to develop several skills. Ryan (2008) suggests that students in a school or university can benefit from this multiple mentor model. The academic mentor can provide academic guidance on such matters as planning and use of study time. A clinical mentor can assist with the development of practical skills during attachment or laboratory exercises. Bozeman and Feeney (2007) suggest that peer mentors at university can be senior students. They provide different area support and encouragement to junior students.
The multiple mentor model could be adapted for a university wide research skills mentoring program. Experienced willing mentors being available, the group of mentee participants could be assigned a mentor for the identification of a research problem, and another for data analysis, findings dissemination, presentations and writing for publication. The model enables mentees to learn from experts in all aspects. One factor which can militate against application of a multiple mentor model is the shortage of senior level lecturers and researchers to mentor others (Ntiamoah-Baidu, 2008), hence the need to consider group or mentor to mentees model.

Group Mentoring (mentor to mentees) Model

According to Rhodes (2002), group mentoring is an association of individuals whose purpose is to promote the professional development of members with the assistance of a mentoring group leader. Carvin (2011) regards group mentoring as a mentoring methodology that can be used for individual skills development in a group setting. Foster (2001) recommends one mentor working with four mentees. The mentor can be an adult who wants to give something back to the community. This requirement implies that the mentoring is voluntary. It must be focused on solving community problems.
Zachary (2011) supports group mentoring for four reasons. First, it requires one mentor for more mentees. This solves the dilemma of mentoring many people with limited senior mentors. It also fits well with the university context in Zimbabwe. Second, mentoring efforts reach many people in a time-efficient manner. Third, it promotes diversity of thinking, practice and understanding. Last but equally important, is the fact that group mentoring combats mentor fatigue and burnout. Lewin’s 1946 seminal paper (in Gilbert 2008) and Gray (2009) propose the use of groups in participatory action research that combine experimental approaches (interventions) to social science with social action.
Klasen (2002) recommend the application of group mentoring where mentor’s time is limited but he or she possesses expertise in an area that might be of interest to multiple mentees. The research mentor is the hub expected to help students seek information for research skills assignments. He/she can provide web-sites and links. For the development of research skills, the research mentor is expected to be a successful researcher with a track record of student research project supervision and publications. To this list, Mudhovozi, Manganye and Mashamba (2013) add the skill to review research papers. The ideal research mentor should be interested in the mentees and willing to invest the necessary time to foster the development of mentees research capabilities. In this study, mentee’s professional self-confidence can be boosted by providing opportunities for each mentee to disseminate his/her research through presentations and publications.
When a single mentor participates, Krishnaveni (2008:364) observes that mentoring has multi-functional roles. The mentor takes on the role of coach for job-related knowledge and guidance, counsellor and listener for emotional support, guardian for the mentee’s well-being and interests and net worker/facilitator providing access to networks and resources. For university research skills, networker’s roles can include identification of journals in which research can be published and possible sponsors and their research areas of interest. The different mentor roles are illustrated by Hewlett-Packard (1997), mentoring model presented below.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1: STUDY INTRODUCTION
1.1 INTRODUCTION
1.2 INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH OUTPUT IN UNIVERSITIES
1.3 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
1.4 MAIN RESEARCH QUESTION
1.5 AIMS OF THE RESEARCH
1.6 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
1.8 STUDY CHAPTER DIVISIONS
1.9 SUMMARY
CHAPTER 2: A CRITIQUE OF COMPETENCY DEVELOPMENT THEORIES FOR LECTURER RESEARCH SKILLS
2.1 INTRODUCTION
2.2 CONTEXTUAL ANALYSIS
2.3 MENTORS UNIVERSITY’S ‘RESEARCH POLICY’
2.4 CONCEPT OF MENTORSHIP RESEARCH MODEL
2.5 COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE THEORETICAL FRAME
2.6 TRADITIONAL SKILLS DEVELOPMENT MODELS
2.7 SUMMARY
CHAPTER 3: AN EXPLORATION OF MENTORING MODELS AND METHODS
3.1 INTRODUCTION
3.2 A BRIEF HISTORY OF MENTORING
3.3 MENTORSHIP MODELS
3.4 MENTORSHIP METHODS
3.5 MENTORSHIP PHASES
3.6 MENTORING PROCESS PHASES
3.7 MENTORING IN HIGHER EDUCATION
3.8 BENEFITS OF MENTORING
3.9 MENTORSHIP BARRIERS
3.10 SUMMARY
CHAPTER 4: STUDY EMPIRICAL INQUIRY
4.1 INTRODUCTION
4.2 RESEARCH PARADIGM
4.3 BACKGROUND TO RESEARCH SITES
4.4 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
4.5 PHASE 1: DOCUMENT ANALYSIS
4.6 PHASE 2 AND 3: FIELDWORK, EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATIONS
4.7 SUMMARY
CHAPTER 5: DATA PRESENTATION, ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
5.1 INTRODUCTION
5.2 DOCUMENT ANALYSIS RESULTS
5.3 BASELINE SURVEYS RESULTS
5.4 MENTORING PROGRAMME IMPLEMENTATION (INTERVENTION)
5.5 MODEL EVALUATION
5.6 PROGRAM EVALUATION INTERVIEWS
5.7 RESEARCH FINDINGS: AN OVERVIEW
5.8 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
6.1 INTRODUCTION
6.2 SUMMARY OF RESEARCH FINDINGS
6.3 CONTRIBUTIONS OF RESEARCH
6.4 STUDY LIMITATIONS
6.5 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE PRACTICE
6.6 AREAS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH
6.7 CONCLUSION
REFERENCES
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