Rebecca Parks Follman
University of Maryland, United States of America

Tuesday, November 10, 10:30am

Formal mentoring is an increasingly popular tool for professional development and socialization, particularly in higher education, where expertise is contextual and dynamic. As it is currently enacted, however, mentoring suffers from a lack of clarity, as each participant – protégé or mentor – seems to have a different understanding of what mentoring is or should be. If mentor and protégé don’t have the same understanding, necessary mentoring may not take place. The challenge for researchers is that the action of mentoring usually takes place in dyadic privacy. Studies of mentoring therefore focus on outcomes and participant satisfaction, without being able to separate the links between mentoring functions and those outcomes. In this paper I propose a model of the mentoring relationship that describes the information practices of mentoring. This model is derived from a study of faculty mentors at a large mid-Atlantic university. The model will extend our understanding of mentoring by applying the concept of information practices to the mentoring process.