Beyond Teaching to Mentoring

Beyond Teaching to Mentoring

Beyond Teaching to Mentoring

Beyond Teaching to Mentoring

Synopsis

As a result of rapid changes affecting higher education, educators face continuing challenges to meet their responsibilities and must reevaluate their interactions with students, both inside and outside the classroom. This new issue examines how educators might mentor their students. Covering a variety of disciplines, the authors discuss how to prepare students for more active and collaborative learning and how to help students develop different skills they will need to succeed. They also examine the effect of changing demographics, diverse student populations, and changing student expectations on mentoring. In the transition to a learning-focused environment with the student at the center of the endeavor, instructors will find this issue a helpful tool as they continue to play a major but changing role. This is the 85th issue of the Jossey-Bass series New Directions for Teaching and Learning.

Excerpt

Diane M. Enerson

Fostering open discussions and building community
about teaching have often proved problematic within the
academy. This chapter discusses how mentoring—when
used as a metaphor for teaching—may move us toward
solving these problems.

Diane M. Enerson

Mentoring is a familiar term that in everyday discourse rarely causes even a momentary flicker of puzzlement. It derives its meaning from the name of a friend to whom Odysseus entrusted his son. Just as Odysseus expected Mentor to counsel and guide Telemachus in order that he might become successful and assume his rightful role in society, we expect mentors—and the mentoring they do—to achieve similar objectives today. The notion that one generation can help the next is certainly not new and seems fundamental. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine how modern civilization would have evolved, or even survived, if each successive generation did not build effectively on the lessons learned in the past.

In recent years, however, mentoring may have become something more—a shibboleth of sorts—ensuring the success of certain groups such as minorities and women while atoning for their lack of success in earlier generations. Interest in and communications about mentoring have grown rapidly during the last few years. That this is the second volume about mentoring in the New Directions in Teaching and Learning series during the past decade is certainly reflective of this interest. And even a cursory review of the articles and publications listed in the most recent two or three years of Higher Education Abstracts reveals some striking patterns, which may tell us something about the relationship between mentoring and teaching.

One such pattern, and perhaps the most significant, is that mentoring is nearly always associated with one or more highly desirable outcome(s) for those being mentored. Tradition and myth suggest that a mentor will . . .

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