The chess coach what can we learn from mentoring as an educational process philip


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  • Will draw on studies undertaken by the Rowan Group and others
  • Changing demographic patterns, changing family styles and organisation. Policy shifts that have meant many young people are dependent on families for longer – removal of certain rights, housing policies and shift in emphasis from employment to training. All have combined to make youth transitions sharper for some (young homeless, mental health problems) and more elongated for others.
  • The problem with this definition - largely a one way process rather than a dialogue. Suggests mentoring is based on a deficit model of young people – as a problem and in need of remedy
  • Rutter(1989) has suggested that the presence of a mentor in certain conditions can provide a means of helping young people to overcome difficult circumstances and to thrive where their peers do not. This idea of resilience has become important in youth policy but we are still unclear to what extent young people who are already resilient are adept at finding and keeping a mentor, or whether mentoring enhances resilience. Attachment theory – the idea that a consistent and continuing person has an important protective role in helping young people to negotiate their social worlds, has become significant in the mentoring field. Enhanced resilience could be related to ideas about building social capital in Coleman’s terms. Social support to assist young people to deal with their difficulties – important factor in accounts given by young people that the mentor ‘didn’t treat me like a case’ and that the relationship was personalised not professional Ecological theory has also been highly influential in US based mentoring (Bronfenbrenner) Many of these approaches focus exclusively on the individual – a need to take account of young people as members of their social groups since particularly for teenagers, their lives are intensely social. Informal education and particularly youth work offers an opportunity for peer mentoring in addition to individual models.
  • Learner as active – constructing knowledge - holistic
  • Informal education offers the opportunity for dialogue: between teachers and learners and between learners themselves. Learning according to this approach is a co-operative process, in which learning is constructed between actors.
  • Successful mentoring relationships – trust, reciprocity, challenge, negotiation, informality, acceptance all significant in accounts by young people and mentors. Above all, youn gpeople in our study stressed the importance of mentoring being a voluntary relationship which can be built on or rejected by the young person – this may be more problematic in organised or formal mentoring where precise goals have been preset Se next slide - typology
  • Being involved in a shared interest often provided a starting point for the development of a more trusting relationship – this may be particularly important for young people who have had difficult relationships in the past
  • Philip and Hendry (1996)
  • Sharing a Laugh was a study undertaken with the support of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and which explored formal mentoring in three settings over a two year period. Young people, mentors and stakeholders participated in the study. Professional friendship – issue of endings and power of mentor
  • These were successful relationships – important to stress that a number of failed relationships which did not become ‘connected’.
  • The chess coach what can we learn from mentoring as an educational process philip

    1. 1. <ul><li>The chess coach: what can we learn from mentoring as an educational process? </li></ul><ul><li>Kate Philip, The Rowan Group </li></ul><ul><li>CISCCON International Conference </li></ul><ul><li>University of Aberdeen </li></ul><ul><li>30 th August – 1 st September 2007 </li></ul>
    2. 2. This presentation will <ul><li>Explore dimensions of youth mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Relate these to approaches to informal education </li></ul><ul><li>Raise questions about how mentoring processes might interact with the role of the chess coach </li></ul>
    3. 3. Researching mentoring <ul><li>Previous work - young people’s perspectives on ‘natural mentoring’ processes </li></ul><ul><li>Typology of informal mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Study of organised mentoring ( Sharing a Laugh) </li></ul>
    4. 4. Where has mentoring emerged from? <ul><ul><li>Arguably based on ancient myths </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Waves of youth mentoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A response to fears about and for youth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perceived decline in intergenerational relationships and in neighbourhood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broad appeal to a range of interests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Idea of community base and link with Puttnam’s notion of social capital </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. What is Youth mentoring? <ul><li>The mentor is someone with greater experience or wisdom than the mentee. Second the mentor offers guidance or instruction that is intended to facilitate the growth and development of the mentee. Third, there is an emotional bond between mentor and mentee, a hallmark of which is a sense of trust </li></ul><ul><li>(Dubois and Karcher, 2005:3) </li></ul>
    6. 6. Themes <ul><li>A ‘protective’ factor or a ‘steeling mechanism (resilience) </li></ul><ul><li>A consistent and continuing presence (attachment) </li></ul><ul><li>A guide, adviser, broker, supporter (social support) </li></ul><ul><li>Community based (ecological) </li></ul>
    7. 7. Informal Education <ul><li>Emphasis on dialogue between teachers and learners and learners themselves </li></ul><ul><li>Experiential and grounded </li></ul><ul><li>A co-operative process </li></ul><ul><li>Aim of critical reflection </li></ul>
    8. 8. Mentoring – informal education <ul><li>You do the stuff that you are meant to do but with (the mentor) it is different and you’re doing it because you want to </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A starting point for educational processes to begin </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiated agenda and boundaries </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A bridge to new experiences and sometimes social worlds (for mentors and mentees) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A catalyst to build up new skills </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A means of ensuring compliance or critical thinking? </li></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Informal and Formal mentoring <ul><li>Distinction between informal mentoring and formal mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Both have educational aims although these are often implicit </li></ul><ul><li>Planned mentoring often explicitly based on a deficit model of young people </li></ul>
    10. 10. Informal Mentoring <ul><li>Active participation </li></ul><ul><li>Resolving conflict, renegotiating relationships, trying out new identity </li></ul><ul><li>A ‘safe setting’ in which to take risks in learning – leaving the ‘baggage behind’ </li></ul><ul><li>Chess as a starting point? </li></ul>
    11. 11. Reciprocity and Non conformity Reciprocity And equality Reciprocity And equality Mentors Empathetic Advisory, guide, outsider Qualities Sought /identified Recognition and life crises Managing reputations Identity Lifestyle Rehearsal for action Acceptance of peer Group and Youth Culture values Empathy Recognition Of aspiration to role models Life events Home and street Street Home based Youth Groups Home based Context Both Both Female Female Male Gender Long term ‘risky adult’ Peer Group Best Friend Individual/ Team Classic Mentoring Forms
    12. 12. Findings: formal mentoring <ul><li>Many in the sample had poor educational experiences and were excluded from mainstream </li></ul><ul><li>Mentoring offered some young people a means of developing alternative forms of relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Successful mentors went beyond traditional professional boundaries </li></ul>
    13. 13. The importance of relationship <ul><li>Reciprocity – sharing a laugh </li></ul><ul><li>A voluntary relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiating boundaries and agendas </li></ul><ul><li>An alternative to sometimes difficult peer and family relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Qualities of trust, shared interests, challenge and respect </li></ul>
    14. 14. Classic, peer and group Classic and group Classic e-mentoring Classic, peer and group Classic Style Variable – aim for longstanding Variable – may be linked to employment scheme Variable – schemes vary. Mentoring often ended if yp leaves employment scheme Ideally flexible – may be intensive rather than long term Ideally flexible but not less than I year Duration Primary age-young adults 13+ 15+ 10-25 10-25 Age groups Important – often aims to rebuild relationships Variable Variable – focus on developing skills Important – befriending key element Level of emotional engagement Confidence, solidarity, strengthen communities that may feel under threat Confidence/resilience, explore alternatives, challenge behaviour, advocacy Link with individuals/agencies and young person; build skills and confidence Develop relationship via shared interest/activity Building social skills Strategies ‘ community’ members – often unclear which community volunteers to complement work of paid staff Volunteers ideally with business background/knowledge. Complement work of paid staff Volunteers and sometime paid staff. Skills in key areas, ability to relate to yp Male ‘role models’ favoured but majority women Target groups (mentors) Yp from marginalised groups eg minority ethnic NEET; substance misusers, yp in criminal justice system ‘ underachieving’ Possible school problems, poor background ‘ underachievin disadvantaged, potentially at risk, esp young men Children from single parent family; isolated yp; known family difficulties Target Groups (mentees) Ecology of development; Attachment; resilience; Cognitive behavioural therapy; resilience; social capital Ecology of development Social capital and social inclusion Mentoring as ‘professional friendship’- Youth transitions Social support Attachment theory/resilience/social capital (bridging)/developmental psych Theoretical framework – (explicit or implicit) Yp alienated from mainstream community – often linked with (i) Disruptive/ challenging behaviour often linked to schools Deficit model: lack social capital and access to networks. Remedy absence of or missed opportunities to build expertise Deficit model of yp/family Underlying assumptions (v)Integration into community (iv)Reduction of unwanted behaviours (iii)Expanding opportunities (ii)Instrumental (i)Compensatory Mentoring Forms
    15. 15. But caution needed <ul><li>Moving on and moving out </li></ul><ul><li>Coercive mentoring and ‘unfriendly contexts’ </li></ul><ul><li>Unsuccessful mentoring can undermine confidence and capacity </li></ul><ul><li>A ‘risky’ process for all involved </li></ul>
    16. 16. Building a mentor rich environment <ul><li>Assumption that young people have few opportunities to develop informal relationships with adults </li></ul><ul><li>Capitalising on shared interests and capacities </li></ul><ul><li>Offering a link between individual and group </li></ul><ul><li>Need for longitudinal insights </li></ul>
    17. 17. Mentoring and coaching <ul><li>What does youth mentoring have to offer in this field? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mentoring as an educational intervention </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The importance of relationships to learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A community based approach </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links with coaching practices </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Mentoring and chess <ul><li>Does chess playing offer a means of engaging with young people who may wish a mentor? </li></ul><ul><li>To what extent should peer mentoring be developed within chess playing groups? </li></ul><ul><li>Could chess playing offer a setting in which mentoring relationships could be developed for excluded young people? </li></ul>