Peer mentoring for international students at Newcastle Law School


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Slides for the presentation by Shamini Ragavan (Newcastle University) at LILAC 2009.

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Peer mentoring for international students at Newcastle Law School

  1. 1. Peer Mentoring for International Students at Newcastle Law School
  2. 2. Co-operative Learning <ul><li>“ Learning is enhanced when it is more like a team effort than a solo race. Good learning, like good work, is collaborative and social, not competitive and isolated. Working with others often increases involvement in learning. Sharing one’s own ideas and responding to others’ reactions improves thinking and deepens understanding” </li></ul><ul><li>( Arthur W. Chickering & Zelda F. Gamson, Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education, AAHE Bull., Mar. 1987, at 3,4 see fifth annual conference of the Institute for Law School Teaching at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington entitled “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Legal Education”) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Definition of Mentor?? <ul><li>“ Mentoring is a deliberate pairing of a more skilled or more experienced person with a less skilled or less experienced one, with the mutually agreed goal of having the less skilled person grow and develop specific competencies”, Murray and Owen in Beyond the Myths and Magic of Mentoring (2001) </li></ul><ul><li>“ Peer mentoring is when people of similar age and / or status take on the roles of mentor and mentee”, Andrew Miller in Mentoring Students and Young People (2002) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Key Objectives <ul><li>Facilitate social and academic transition into new culture – (i) widening participation in HE institutions and (ii) to provide international students a rich and rewarding experience </li></ul><ul><li>Explore the effectiveness of merging a community of students with similar interests – prevent isolation and increase co-operation </li></ul><ul><li>Develop trust </li></ul><ul><li>Develop emotional intelligence, imagination Nussbaum (1998), cognition, personality </li></ul>
  5. 5. Cultural Diversity <ul><li>Address cultural diversity without segregation – B. Tatum (1997 ), Collins (1990) </li></ul><ul><li>Freeman (1999) finds mentoring instrumental in environments culturally different from their own </li></ul><ul><li>Key success for minority students is the ability to identify with others on a cultural level. Is this true? </li></ul>
  6. 6. Methodology <ul><li>(i) Design </li></ul><ul><li>Scheme was initiated in September 2008 as a pilot </li></ul><ul><li>Eight students were appointed as mentors for thirteen mentees </li></ul><ul><li>Training was initiated after appointment </li></ul><ul><li>Lunch Reception marking launching of scheme where mentors and mentees met for the first time </li></ul><ul><li>Regular weekly meetings from 1-2pm in the Conference Room </li></ul>
  7. 7. Methodology (cont.) <ul><li>(ii) Participants </li></ul><ul><li>Selection of mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Matching mentees with suitable mentors </li></ul>
  8. 8. Methodology (cont.) <ul><li>(iii) Research Method </li></ul><ul><li>Qualitative assessment via focus groups with open questions, data is recorded, transcribed and analysed </li></ul><ul><li>May include phenomenological study in the future? </li></ul>
  9. 9. Methodology (cont.) <ul><li>(iv) Data Collection and Analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation for Mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Approaches of Mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits of Mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges of Mentoring </li></ul><ul><li>(Heirdsfield et. al “Peer mentoring for first year teacher education students: the mentor’s experience” (2008) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Key concerns raised at focus group <ul><li>More guidance – reiteration of issues dealt with at training </li></ul><ul><li>Labelling of ‘mentor’ not adequate </li></ul><ul><li>Informality is crucial – prefer not to meet at the law school </li></ul><ul><li>Two students thought they would have preferred a mentor from their own country </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce frequency of meetings </li></ul>