Journal of Peer Learning
An Investigation into Mentoring Relationships of Higher Education Students in Community Settings
This research explores one-to-one, formal mentoring relationships between students in higher education and their partnered mentees from community and secondary school environments. The purpose is to enhance understanding of mentoring praxis, bringing insight into structures and support of relationships. This paper addresses gaps in the literature by focusing more on the interaction that takes place rather than the benefits of mentoring alone.
The research adopts an interpretive methodological approach, incorporating qualitative methods of semi-structured interviews with mentors and mentees. Reflective portfolios, completed by students as an assessment for the university’s Mentoring in the Community module, are another adopted method.
Findings are presented in a framework model encompassing key components of mentoring interaction (see Figure 1). This model represents a two-way process in which mentors and mentees interact, participate, and build a relationship despite differences in socioeconomic grouping, background, and character.
It is hoped that mentoring projects can engage, refine, and apply the theoretical model devised from this research in programmes to ensure that relationships supporting vulnerable children, young people, and adults are able to stride forward; to help individuals achieve their full potential in all aspects of life; as well as to discover a trusted companion along the way.
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