Dear Content Contributor,
In a bid to promoting quality culture in our teaching and learning processes, there is need for us to look into a concept called “mentoring”, which is a strategic way of ensuring and maintaining quality in teaching and learning in higher education.
What is Mentoring?
According to the Macmillan English Dictionary “mentoring is the use of an experienced person who helps or teaches someone who has less experience about their job or a particular subject area”.
Let us reflect on the article published by Josiah Hatfield, titled “Mentoring in Higher Education and Student Development”. He states in the article that "the University student has been learning inside the classroom since the beginning of higher education. There is no question that a student’s mind is stretched and moulded in the classroom due to lecture, class discussion, or homework. Yet, in order for a student to succeed as a whole human being, students need additional attention and care outside of the classroom. Obviously, there are a number of practices that aid in helping a student to develop but this article will address some of the benefits and implications of mentorship. While having a mentor is certainly not a new idea, it has resurged in recent years in a variety of ways with a variety of results”. Mentoring can happen in a number of ways, yet it always has a positive effect on the mentee, in both psychosocial and academic ways (Terrion & Leonard, 2007).
Meanwhile, University of Southern California (USC) Centre for Excellence in Teaching also published an article titled “Faculty Mentoring Paper Summary”. The authors defined a mentor as a trusted and experienced advisor who has a direct interest in the development and education of a less experienced individual. Furthermore, a mentor is that person who achieves a one-to-one developmental relationship with a learner, and one whom the learner identifies as having enabled personal growth to take place.
The relationship between the mentor and protégé is unique. The mentor assumes numerous roles, while contributing to a sustaining relationship of shared interests and goals. A mentor makes a commitment to an assigned protégé to help her or him grow into the organization’s culture and become a productive and effective organization member. A person can never have too many mentors. As a faculty member, you might have several formal and informal mentors at the same time.
Furthermore, Ron Penner corroborates Josiah in his published article titled Mentoring in Higher Education. He highlighted the benefits and elements of mentoring. He expantiates on mentoring as follows: Experience forges wisdom and wisdom leads to effective living. The author offered tributes to people who have walked the road ahead and offered guidance and encouragement for other peoples’ development. Walter Unger is one of these people who have devoted a lifetime to a worthy cause. During his more than thirty years of teaching and administration, he has served as a mentor for faculty, staff, and students. He has oriented, trained, coached, and introduced people to new and greater professional opportunities.
In recognition of that role, this article explores the concept and practice of mentoring in the world of higher education. Focus will be limited to a brief overview of the concept, an exploration of its various expressions, and identification of facilitative measures that schools can take to foster mentoring.
It will be our delight to see our experienced faculty doing more in this aspect of sustaining quality in our higher education.
It is with pleasure that some of us have gained a lot from our distinguished Professors in FUNAAB and their mentoring has been producing generations of Professors today and years to come, based on the foundation that had been laid down. We appreciate this move and we believe that the founding fathers of the University will be happy with this drive.
You can read our previous Weekly Tips from HERE.
Dr. O. Folorunso
Director, Centre for Innovation and Strategy in Learning and Teaching