Information About Student Mentoring

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Some Advice About Student Mentoring

There are two ways to improve student learning:

1. REMEDIATION: Through working directly with students to address and remediate their needs.

2. PREVENTION: Through working with teachers to develop their capacity to better support and teach students, and thereby, to prevent the need for remediation.

It is the position of the author of this web site that both are needed, but this author chooses to focus his work on prevention. This web site also focuses on new teachers because the author believes that mentoring relationships and processes incorporate great teaching. If new teachers mature in a "culture of mentoring" then their teaching will naturally incorporate the norms of mentoring.

Mentoring Works for Both: In addition to mentoring of new teachers as a form of prevention of poor student learning, the direct mentoring of students is also a powerful tool for improving the learning for all students. Whether used for remediation, as in mentoring of at-risk students, or when used for acceleration and enrichment, as in mentoring of the gifted, mentoring is the most powerful learning method known! After all, mentoring is one-to-one teaching. Although not the primary thrust of this web site, student mentoring, such as for gifted or at-risk students, is a huge area of interest, and there is lots of activity and writing going on around this topic.

Here are a few sources on information to help you get started if you are interested in the mentoring of students. All I ask is that you use BOTH approaches to support student learning and don't just focus on remediation. Thanks:

(1) Improving Teacher Preparation Through Formalized Mentoring
, By Wm. and Marilynne Gray, (1987). International Journal of Mentoring. Vol. 1, #2. published by Wm. Gray and his wife.

Bill used to operate the "International Center for Mentoring" in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. Although most of his work was with schools at the start, he focused on business (where the money is) in later years. As of May 1997 his phone number is disconnected so I don't know if he is still active in mentoring.

These folks are very knowledgeable about student and teacher mentoring. This article is a description of how Wm. Gray taught mentoring skills to his teacher education students at the University of British Columbia. His research found a huge impact in the resulting teaching of students for those who were both:

(1) mentored during their training and

(2) specifically taught mentoring skills to be used with their students when they taught.

This program began in 1979 and the article reporting the results is from 1987. It's very good!

(2) How to Start a Student Mentoring Program, by Susan Weinberger, (1992) Phi Delta Kappa Fastback #333, Phi Delta Kappa, Educational Foundation, Bloomington, Indiana. This booklet explains the necessary steps to starting and sustaining a student mentoring program using as an example, the Norwalk Conn. School's program which the author directs. Includes all the basics, such as recruitment, screening, training, matching, responsibilities, evaluation, parent letters, mentor evaluation forms, & celebrations.

(3) Beginning a Mentoring Program, by Michael Newman. The Community & Human resources Dev. Division of the Minnesota dept. of Human Resources, 444 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-3821.

(4) Connections: Linking Youth with Caring Adults, Urban Strategies Council, Thorton House, 672 13th St. Oakland, CA 94621.

(5) Coordinator's Guide to Oregon Community Mentorship Program, Student Retention initiative, Partnerships, 530 Center St. NE, Suite 300, Portland, Or 97310

(6) The Mentor Handbook: A Guide for Adult Volunteers and Sponsoring Companies, by S. Weinberger (author of "How to Start" above), produced for the Norwalk Schools Student Mentoring Program, from Educational resources Network, 18 Marshall St. South Norwalk, CT 06854.

(7) One-On-One: A Guide for Establishing Mentoring Programs, U.S. Dept of Education, 400 Maryland Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20202

(8) A Youth Mentoring Program Directory, United Way of America, 701 N. Fairfax St. Alexandria, VA 22314.

(9) Youth Mentoring: Programs and Practices, by E. Flaxman,, ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, PO Box 40, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY 10021-2692

(10) Challenging the Gifted & Talented Through Mentor-Assisted Enrichment Projects, by Wm. Gray, (1983) Phi Delta Kappa Fastback #189, Phi Delta Kappa, Educational Foundation, Bloomington, Indiana. This booklet is by the same author as listed in # 1 above and includes use of preservice teacher education students as mentors, designing & implementing gifted enrichment projects with mentors, lessons learned from the projects, and benefits of the program.

(11) Teachers and Mentors:, in The Gifted and Talented: Their Education and Development, (1979). Ed. Passow, pp. 272-288. Chicago, IL. University of Chicago Press.

Links to Web Sites on Student Mentoring


The following are additional examples for which I do not have contact information. Sorry.