Source: International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 4 No. 3, 2015, pp. 213-235
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This study aimed to explore the mentoring experience within the context of a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) specific mentoring program for urban, at risk, high school youth.
The authors used the Principles of Adult Mentoring Inventory (PAMI) as an instrument that modeled effective mentoring behavior.
They conducted this study at a large, urban, Midwestern university in the USA.
The participants were 18 graduate and undergraduate students enrolled as STEM majors at the university.
Data were collected through pre/post-test, and focus group interviews.
The authors found that a common theme that touched on all PAMI constructs was that communication with scholars was crucial to success. Specifically, they argue that communication impacted the relationship emphasis, the facilitative focus, the confrontive focus, and mentor modeling.
They suggest that to facilitate communication, STEM mentor program developers should design both the use of the PAMI structured and group STEM focussed activities, events, and outings to assist STEM mentors in building strong relationships with mentees.
They found that a second overarching theme that also applied to all PAMI constructs was that information was crucial to success. Both mentors and scholars craved information about the academic and professional aspects of STEM majors and jobs.
They also found that STEM mentors who were more successful at confronting scholars were more likely to discuss poor grades, inform scholars on bad judgment, and let scholars know when they were wasting their mentor’s time.
Finally, the findings reveal that female mentors scored lower in pre/post-test results than males.