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Getting the balance right in Mentoring: Examining the contribution of research and evaluation Judith MacCallum Murdoch University Youth Mentoring Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "Getting the balance right in Mentoring: Examining the contribution of research and evaluation Judith MacCallum Murdoch University Youth Mentoring Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting the balance right in Mentoring: Examining the contribution of research and evaluation Judith MacCallum Murdoch University Youth Mentoring Conference NZ 26 May 2007

2 Overview Raise some questions What balance in mentoring? What can research on mentoring contribute to mentoring practice? Where does evaluation fit in?

3 A place to start Evaluation Evidence-base for mentoring Balance between evaluation and implementation

4 What is evaluation? is about making judgements about something, how well it does what it is intended to do process that involves collecting, analysing, interpreting and using information on a program Evaluation isn’t considered to be Research

5 Evaluation logic model mentoring relationship model and practice relationship skills improved relationships with family, colleagues new peer relationships mentee mentor

6 What about Research? For effective evaluation we need to know more about what we are about, what to expect, and how it works. This is where research on mentoring comes in. Balance between evaluation and research

7 The focus of Mentoring is often on practice For the further development of mentoring practice we need a greater focus on mentoring theory and research Practice Theory Balance between Practice and Research

8 What is research? about building an understanding of something, looking for patterns, similarities, differences, contradictions, silences …. when I am looking at mentoring, as a researcher, I’m looking at trying to understand it better, what it is, what it isn’t, how and when it works and doesn’t work …

9 What do we know about mentoring? The word ‘mentoring’ is applied to many programs. Mainly single program studies USA, mainly quantitative studies of structured community mentoring programs (e.g. Jean Rhodes, David DuBois, Joseph Pascarelli) Australian studies, mainly qualitative case studies of informal & informal community, and structured school-based mentoring

10 How is mentoring conceptualised? Mentoring is the development of a relationship … What kind of relationship? Traditional view - apprenticeship or expert - novice (one way) Expert - novice (two way) Gift giving (Gehrke, 1988) Friendship Partnership or developmental alliance (workplace & youth-adult partnerships) Shared adventure (Baird, 1993)

11 Traditional Western view of the mentor The original ‘Mentor’ was a father figure, a teacher, role model, approachable counsellor, trusted advisor, challenger, encourager … Athene provided the nurturing role, wisdom … Most cultures have traditions resembling mentoring

12 Language used Mentor Mentee Mentoree Protégé Mentoring relationship Mentoring partnership

13 Mentoring: some definitions Based on a traditional view: Mentoring is a mutually beneficial relationship which involves a more experienced person helping a less experienced person to achieve their goals. (Mentoring Australia, 2000)

14 Youth-at-risk version Mentoring is an old idea that works. …. Supportive one-on-one relationships provide youths with the opportunity to explore career paths and broaden their horizons. Adult mentors serve as beacons of hope for young people adrift in an uncertain world. (Dondero, 1997, p. 1)

15 Workplace version Mentoring is a complex, interactive process, occurring between individuals of differing levels of experience and expertise which incorporates interpersonal or psychosocial development, career and/or educational development, and socialization functions into the relationship… To the extent that the parameters of mutuality and compatibility exist in the relationship, the potential outcomes of respect, professionalism, collegiality, and role fulfillment will result. Further the mentoring process occurs in a dynamic relationship within a given milieu. (Carmin in Carruthers, 1993, pp.10- 11)

16 Youth-adult partnerships Youth-adult partnerships are relationships between youth and adults where there is mutuality in teaching, learning, and action … To build the partnerships, adults made two key contributions: provided guidance rather than instruction, and created a place where young people can know and speak their minds Such partnerships focus on collaboration and emphasize young people and their contributions rather than their problems (Various articles from the Journal of Community Psychology)

17 Caring Helping Sharing Reflecting Mentoring: key components Mentoring usually involves: emotional and social support direct assistance with skill, cognitive, career or professional development role modelling and networking reflection Modified from Jacobi (1991), Baird (2003) and MacCallum (2006)

18 Where does mentoring fit with other programs? Informal programs are very prevalent Formal or structured programs may be a substitute for informal mentoring, or a formal program may create the opportunity for informal mentoring

19 Role model programs degree of interaction theoretical perspective broad focus of program types of role models used (from research review) examples of types of programs (from audit) none / lowsociological social cognitive observation demonstration media figures celebrities non-traditional adults awards web sites celebrity use/ guest speakers some socio-cultural feedback scaffolding teachers other adults peers workshops drop-in centres camps & clinics highhumanist support relationships parents other adults peers mentors workshop series youth groups mentoring (MacCallum & Beltman, 2002)

20 How is mentoring related to resilience? Resilience - coping in difficult times Mentoring and the development of resilience - the common threads: Relationship with a caring adult Individual competence and skill development Networking with peers and others (Beltman & MacCallum, 2006)

21 Stages of the mentoring relationship initiationcultivationtransformationseparation checking out – each person learns about & appreciates other build on mentee’s strengths – focus remains on young person mentee begins to take responsibility & moves to increasing autonomy mentee takes risks and tries out new approaches mentor communicates warmth and caring mentor cautious with advice; avoid judging /imposing; consider options, consequences, & solutions mentor provides timely, concrete, non-judgemental feedback mentor helps in reflection and making learning explicit; draws out mentee’s personal strengths (from Pascarelli, 1998)

22 Model of youth mentoring Mentoring Relationship Cognitive development Identity development Mutuality Trust Empathy Social-emotional development Positive outcomes (eg grades, emotional wellbeing, behaviour) Interpersonal history, social competence, developmental stage, duration of mentoring relationship, program practices, family and community context Parental/peer relationship mediator moderator s (Rhodes, 2005)

23 Recent Review Rhodes & DuBois (2006) Studies find significant associations between youth involvement in mentoring relationships and positive developmental outcomes (community programs) Mentoring relationships Closeness, some connection Consistency in meeting Enduring - duration of the relationship, min 1 year Mentor characteristics, skills, attributes to provide structure, support & scaffolding from mentors Contextual variables, & integration with parents and other social networks

24 Mentoring for social inclusion (UK) Colley (2003) Low external control High intentionality & voluntarism on the part of both mentor & mentee Person-centred goals rather than organisational goals Locus of decisions about goals should be internal to the dyad Open-ended (or less tightly limited) time frames Artificial relationships allowed to deepen into social and voluntary relationships Evaluation on the basis of participants’ judgement and perceptions Awareness of and responsiveness to the setting in which mentoring is located

25 USA evidence of outcomes Public Private Ventures study (1995) of community based mentoring in USA - major controlled study increased school attendance lower levels of substance abuse more positive relationships with peers & family less aggression more confident in schoolwork Considerable variation in outcomes - depends on program quality

26 Australian evidence MacCallum & Beltman (1999, 2002, 2005) Research in school and community mentoring motivation - have a go, respond to challenge social/relationships - social & communication skills identity - confidence & being valued career/life direction - purpose, decision-making, transitions academic - some evidence of improvement community development - networks

27 Issues with outcomes Not always a consensus as to which outcomes are important (hard and soft outcomes) Difficult to demonstrate outcomes are due to mentoring because of the long term nature of mentoring and its broader contexts Current research and evaluation show that mentoring is a modest intervention

28 Soft outcomes We can think of mentoring in terms of a personal development strategy – at the personal level, we might be more interested in the kinds of outcomes around self-confidence, communication skills, relationships with others, problem-solving skills …

29 Hard outcomes If we think of mentoring in broader socio-economic terms, we might focus on attendance at school, transitions to high school, transitions to employment and further education, substance abuse …. Balance between soft and hard outcomes

30 And … If we think of mentoring more as a reform strategy that might change society, we might consider changes in understanding of the participants of the contexts of advantage and disadvantage, about development of community, and social and cultural capital ….

31 What does this mean for research? Learn more about different forms of mentoring in different contexts And more broadly, about youth development Detailed case studies that get at the essence of mentoring, ‘the heart and soul of the change process’, why mentoring works for some young people and not for others … Balance between quantitative and qualitative research

32 What does this mean for practice? Be clear about how mentoring is being conceptualised Develop the contexts and processes that ‘fit’ the conceptualisation of mentoring and the kind of relationships that are encouraged way roles of participants are understood how participants are prepared and supported in those roles kind of outcomes

33 What does this mean for evaluation? Be clear about how mentoring is being conceptualised and the expected processes and outcomes Plan for the evaluation process Develop a range of instruments that are appropriate to the conceptualisation of mentoring, and to the participants

34 Getting the balance right Between practice and research quantitative and qualitative research research and evaluation evaluation and implementation soft and hard outcomes When we examine practice through research we can build theory, which can guide practice, further research and the evaluation of practice.

35 References Baird, J. (1993). A personal perspective on mentoring. In B. J. Caldwell & E. M. A. Carter (Eds.) The return of the mentor - strategies for workplace learning (pp. 45- 58). London: The Falmer Press. Beltman, S & MacCallum, J. (2006) Mentoring and the development of resilience. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 8(1), 21-32. Colley, H. (2003) Mentoring for social inclusion: A critical approach to nurturing the mentoring relationship. London: RoutledgeFalmer. Dondero, G. M. (1997) Mentors: Beacons of hope. Adolescence, 32(128), 881-886. Gehrke, N. (1988). Toward a definition of mentoring. Theory into practice, 27(3), 190- 194. Jacobi, M. (1991) Mentoring and undergraduate academic success: A literature review. Review of Educational Research, 61 (4), 505-532. MacCallum, J. (2001) Creating partnerships through mentoring. Invited presentation at the 2001 Education Foundation Summit, Melbourne, October 2001. MacCallum, J., Beltman, S., Palmer, D., Ross, C. & Tero, C. (2005). Indigenous mentoring pilots project (2001 – 2004): National Evaluation Report to DEST. Pascarelli, J. (1998). A four-stage mentoring model that works. In S. Goodlad (Ed.), Mentoring and tutoring by students (pp. 231-243). London: Kogan Page & BP. Rhodes, J. (2005) A model of youth mentoring. In D.L. DuBois & M.J. Karcher (Eds) Handbook of youth mentoring (pp.30-43), Thousand Oaks, Sage. Rhodes, J. & DuBois, D. (2006). Understanding and facilitating the youth mentoring movement. SRCD Social Policy Report volume XX (3). Tierney, J. P., Grossman, J. B., & Resch, N. L. (1995) Making a difference: An impact study of Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Philadelphia, PA: Public/Private Ventures.

36 Reports Mentoring in Schools by members of the community (1999) DEST schools publications website Role models for young people: What makes an effective role model program? (2002) Community building through intergenerational exchange programs (2006) FACSIA website under NYARS publications

37 Contact Judy MacCallum -

38 Mentoring

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