Dimensions and Levels of Mentoring: Empirical Findings of the First German Inventory and Implications for Future Practice
A lack of evidence-based quantitative research prevents further progress in mentoring research. In particular, standardized diagnostic instruments for exploration, evaluation and structured feedback for mentors and mentees are needed. The purpose of this study is to explore factors and levels which are crucial to the process of mentoring mentees.┬á The study has two objectives: The first is to expand the present empirical knowledge of basic dimensions and mentoring styles by developing the first German inventory. The second is to examine how the dimensions of the inventory are related to other qualities in the process of mentoring.
Conducted at three universities of education in Austria, the data were collected during the school practice of advanced student-teachers who were guided by mentor teachers. 405 future teachers serving as mentees evaluated 206 mentors. In order to gather information on mentoring dimensions, a specially developed German questionnaire with 53 items was offered to the mentees in order to assess how often certain qualities in mentoring were experienced previously.┬á Concerning the results, five factors could be found while conducting an exploratory factor analysis: Professional support, collegiality, levels of work, efficiency and confidence. Some of these factors have been validated by independent variables. The inventory developed is a step to facilitate two objectives:┬á The first is theoretical by inspiring further research concerning the complexity of mentoring processes.┬á The second one is a practical one concerning a tool for collaborative reflection between mentor and mentee.┬á The results implicate that mentoring has to be conceptualized as a professional practice with the resources of professional training and professional contexts.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).