Mentoring: The socialisation of learning.
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AbstractThis paper explores mentoring in tertiary teaching and learning practices. Firstly, definitions of the term 'mentoring' are considered and distinctions made between mentoring, supervision and coaching. The authors discuss the functional and relational models of mentoring as an effective strategy in postgraduate supervision. The argument is made that mentoring involves, primarily, the 'socialisation' of learning. Secondly, the article reviews the socio-political context in which mentoring takes place, namely neoliberalism and Focauldian power relations. The authors then investigate various mentoring practices, as well as their underpinning objectives, drawing on the theory of neoliberalism and Foucault's concept of 'power relations'. The role of the mentor and the expectations of the mentoree are examined in the context of formal and informal mentoring relationships. Thirdly, the sociocultural dimensions of mentoring are explored. These include metaphor as a means of articulating and aligning mentor/mentoree understanding in terms of identity construction, interpersonal relations, pedagogy, cultural and gender differences, competition and collaboration, accountability and rules, altruism, and equity. The article concludes with a brief review of research into the effectiveness of mentoring.
CitationKobeleva, P., & Strongman, L. (2010). Mentoring: The socialisation of learning (Working Papers No. 10-4). Lower Hutt, New Zealand: The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.
The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand