Complexity Thinking Mentorship: An Emergent Pedagogy of Graduate Research Development

Nov. 25, 2009

Source: Mentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning, Volume 17, Issue 4
(November 2009) , pages 353 – 367.

In this paper the authors articulate a view of mentoring that extends into interactive and relational forms, fostering a redefinition of traditional roles and practices within mentor-protg models.

From the perspectives of a senior administrator and two assistant professors, the authors revisit the mentoring spaces and relations within which the authors were engaged while working in an approach to arts-based educational research known as a/r/tography during dissertation research projects. From their interconnected experiences, the authors propose a framing of the intersections between a/r/tographic research and mentorship informed by complexity thinking.

The authors analyzed their work together while deconstructing the ways in which the authors have supported and unsettled each other.
Through narrative inquiry the authors share reflections from dissertation research experiences, while also describing patterns of an emerging pedagogy of mentoring within higher education that the authors term complexity thinking mentorship.

Borrowing from complexity theory, this conception of mentorship attends to the specific conditions of redundancy, decentralized control and diversity as being facilitative of evolving change and insight within graduate student research development.

Updated: Feb. 21, 2010