The chess coach: what can we learn from mentoring as an educational process  Kate Philip, The Rowan Group  CISCCON Inter

The chess coach: what can we learn from mentoring as an educational process Kate Philip, The Rowan Group CISCCON Inter PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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This presentation will . Explore dimensions of youth mentoring Relate these to approaches to informal educationRaise questions about how mentoring processes might interact with the role of the chess coach. Researching mentoring. Previous work - young people's perspectives on ?natural mentor

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The chess coach: what can we learn from mentoring as an educational process Kate Philip, The Rowan Group CISCCON Inter

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1. The chess coach: what can we learn from mentoring as an educational process? Kate Philip, The Rowan Group CISCCON International Conference University of Aberdeen 30th August – 1st September 2007

2. This presentation will Explore dimensions of youth mentoring Relate these to approaches to informal education Raise questions about how mentoring processes might interact with the role of the chess coach

3. Researching mentoring Previous work - young people’s perspectives on ‘natural mentoring’ processes Typology of informal mentoring Study of organised mentoring (Sharing a Laugh) Will draw on studies undertaken by the Rowan Group and others Will draw on studies undertaken by the Rowan Group and others

4. Where has mentoring emerged from? Arguably based on ancient myths Waves of youth mentoring A response to fears about and for youth Perceived decline in intergenerational relationships and in neighbourhood Broad appeal to a range of interests Idea of community base and link with Puttnam’s notion of social capital Changing demographic patterns, changing family styles and organisation. Policy shifts that have meant many young people are dependent on families for longer – removal of certain rights, housing policies and shift in emphasis from employment to training. All have combined to make youth transitions sharper for some (young homeless, mental health problems) and more elongated for others.Changing demographic patterns, changing family styles and organisation. Policy shifts that have meant many young people are dependent on families for longer – removal of certain rights, housing policies and shift in emphasis from employment to training. All have combined to make youth transitions sharper for some (young homeless, mental health problems) and more elongated for others.

5. What is Youth mentoring? The mentor is someone with greater experience or wisdom than the mentee. Second the mentor offers guidance or instruction that is intended to facilitate the growth and development of the mentee. Third, there is an emotional bond between mentor and mentee, a hallmark of which is a sense of trust (Dubois and Karcher, 2005:3) The problem with this definition - largely a one way process rather than a dialogue. Suggests mentoring is based on a deficit model of young people – as a problem and in need of remedy The problem with this definition - largely a one way process rather than a dialogue. Suggests mentoring is based on a deficit model of young people – as a problem and in need of remedy

6. Themes A ‘protective’ factor or a ‘steeling mechanism (resilience) A consistent and continuing presence (attachment) A guide, adviser, broker, supporter (social support) Community based (ecological) Rutter(1989) has suggested that the presence of a mentor in certain conditions can provide a means of helping young people to overcome difficult circumstances and to thrive where their peers do not. This idea of resilience has become important in youth policy but we are still unclear to what extent young people who are already resilient are adept at finding and keeping a mentor, or whether mentoring enhances resilience. Attachment theory – the idea that a consistent and continuing person has an important protective role in helping young people to negotiate their social worlds, has become significant in the mentoring field. Enhanced resilience could be related to ideas about building social capital in Coleman’s terms. Social support to assist young people to deal with their difficulties – important factor in accounts given by young people that the mentor ‘didn’t treat me like a case’ and that the relationship was personalised not professional Ecological theory has also been highly influential in US based mentoring (Bronfenbrenner) Many of these approaches focus exclusively on the individual – a need to take account of young people as members of their social groups since particularly for teenagers, their lives are intensely social. Informal education and particularly youth work offers an opportunity for peer mentoring in addition to individual models. Rutter(1989) has suggested that the presence of a mentor in certain conditions can provide a means of helping young people to overcome difficult circumstances and to thrive where their peers do not. This idea of resilience has become important in youth policy but we are still unclear to what extent young people who are already resilient are adept at finding and keeping a mentor, or whether mentoring enhances resilience. Attachment theory – the idea that a consistent and continuing person has an important protective role in helping young people to negotiate their social worlds, has become significant in the mentoring field. Enhanced resilience could be related to ideas about building social capital in Coleman’s terms. Social support to assist young people to deal with their difficulties – important factor in accounts given by young people that the mentor ‘didn’t treat me like a case’ and that the relationship was personalised not professional Ecological theory has also been highly influential in US based mentoring (Bronfenbrenner) Many of these approaches focus exclusively on the individual – a need to take account of young people as members of their social groups since particularly for teenagers, their lives are intensely social. Informal education and particularly youth work offers an opportunity for peer mentoring in addition to individual models.

7. Informal Education Emphasis on dialogue between teachers and learners and learners themselves Experiential and grounded A co-operative process Aim of critical reflection Learner as active – constructing knowledge - holisticLearner as active – constructing knowledge - holistic

8. Mentoring – informal education You do the stuff that you are meant to do but with (the mentor) it is different and you’re doing it because you want to A starting point for educational processes to begin Negotiated agenda and boundaries A bridge to new experiences and sometimes social worlds (for mentors and mentees) A catalyst to build up new skills A means of ensuring compliance or critical thinking? Informal education offers the opportunity for dialogue: between teachers and learners and between learners themselves. Learning according to this approach is a co-operative process, in which learning is constructed between actors. Informal education offers the opportunity for dialogue: between teachers and learners and between learners themselves. Learning according to this approach is a co-operative process, in which learning is constructed between actors.

9. Informal and Formal mentoring Distinction between informal mentoring and formal mentoring Both have educational aims although these are often implicit Planned mentoring often explicitly based on a deficit model of young people Successful mentoring relationships – trust, reciprocity, challenge, negotiation, informality, acceptance all significant in accounts by young people and mentors. Above all, youn gpeople in our study stressed the importance of mentoring being a voluntary relationship which can be built on or rejected by the young person – this may be more problematic in organised or formal mentoring where precise goals have been preset Se next slide - typologySuccessful mentoring relationships – trust, reciprocity, challenge, negotiation, informality, acceptance all significant in accounts by young people and mentors. Above all, youn gpeople in our study stressed the importance of mentoring being a voluntary relationship which can be built on or rejected by the young person – this may be more problematic in organised or formal mentoring where precise goals have been preset Se next slide - typology

10. Informal Mentoring Active participation Resolving conflict, renegotiating relationships, trying out new identity A ‘safe setting’ in which to take risks in learning – leaving the ‘baggage behind’ Chess as a starting point? Being involved in a shared interest often provided a starting point for the development of a more trusting relationship – this may be particularly important for young people who have had difficult relationships in the pastBeing involved in a shared interest often provided a starting point for the development of a more trusting relationship – this may be particularly important for young people who have had difficult relationships in the past

11. Philip and Hendry (1996) Philip and Hendry (1996)

12. Findings: formal mentoring Many in the sample had poor educational experiences and were excluded from mainstream Mentoring offered some young people a means of developing alternative forms of relationship Successful mentors went beyond traditional professional boundaries Sharing a Laugh was a study undertaken with the support of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and which explored formal mentoring in three settings over a two year period. Young people, mentors and stakeholders participated in the study. Professional friendship – issue of endings and power of mentorSharing a Laugh was a study undertaken with the support of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and which explored formal mentoring in three settings over a two year period. Young people, mentors and stakeholders participated in the study. Professional friendship – issue of endings and power of mentor

13. The importance of relationship Reciprocity – sharing a laugh A voluntary relationship Negotiating boundaries and agendas An alternative to sometimes difficult peer and family relationships Qualities of trust, shared interests, challenge and respect These were successful relationships – important to stress that a number of failed relationships which did not become ‘connected’. These were successful relationships – important to stress that a number of failed relationships which did not become ‘connected’.

15. But caution needed Moving on and moving out Coercive mentoring and ‘unfriendly contexts’ Unsuccessful mentoring can undermine confidence and capacity A ‘risky’ process for all involved

16. Building a mentor rich environment Assumption that young people have few opportunities to develop informal relationships with adults Capitalising on shared interests and capacities Offering a link between individual and group Need for longitudinal insights

17. Mentoring and coaching What does youth mentoring have to offer in this field? Mentoring as an educational intervention The importance of relationships to learning A community based approach Links with coaching practices

18. Mentoring and chess Does chess playing offer a means of engaging with young people who may wish a mentor? To what extent should peer mentoring be developed within chess playing groups? Could chess playing offer a setting in which mentoring relationships could be developed for excluded young people?

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