Identity Development and Mentoring in Doctoral Education

Spring 2009

Source: Harvard Educational Review. Volume 79, Issue 1; p. 49 - 72. (Spring 2009).

In this article, the authors use theories of identity to understand mentoring relationships between faculty members and doctoral students who are being prepared as educational researchers.

They suggest that becoming a professional researcher requires students to negotiate new identities and reconceptualize themselves both as people and professionals in addition to learning specific skills; however, the success or marginalization that students experience may depend on the extent to which they attempt to enact identities that are valued by their mentors.

For this reason, the authors argue that faculty mentors must learn about and consider identity formation in order to successfully socialize more diverse groups of researchers.
Furthermore, they also believe that formal curriculum designs can be used more intentionally to help students and faculty understand the roles identity plays in professional development and to make doctoral education more equitable.

Updated: May. 25, 2009