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Redefining mentorship in an era of crisis: responding to COVID-19 through compassionate relationships

Redefining mentorship in an era of crisis: responding to COVID-19 through compassionate... The purpose of this study is to investigate mentorship practices during the COVID-19 pandemic and to consider how mentorship could be improved to support students of educational leadership (EDLE) during crises.Design/methodology/approachParticipants in this collective self-study were four faculty members (i.e. the authors) within an EDLE program in one public, research-intensive university in the southern USA. Data sources were memos, email correspondence, reflective dialogue, course evaluations and meeting notes. Analysis involved dialogic engagement among the research team to identify emergent themes.FindingsAnalysis revealed five themes that reflect our collective experiences as mentors during the pandemic. These themes were challenges created by dismantled systems; meeting students' needs for understanding, flexibility and meaningful learning experiences; evolving personal–professional boundaries; grappling with our own sense-making and well-beingness; and clarifying values and priorities.Practical implicationsThe pandemic exemplifies the need for a deeper conceptualization of mentorship that stimulates more intimate, compassionate relationships between mentors and mentees. When mentorship is grounded in compassion, intimacy and mutual vulnerability, it demonstrates a genuine ethic of care and concern for others that is supportive of well-being and serves as a model for mentees entering the profession.Originality/valueThis paper extends disciplinary knowledge by focusing on the mentorship of EDLE students during crises and provides insights on how mentorship could be enacted to mutually support mentor–mentee well-being. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education Emerald Publishing

Redefining mentorship in an era of crisis: responding to COVID-19 through compassionate relationships

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References (31)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2046-6854
DOI
10.1108/ijmce-11-2020-0078
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate mentorship practices during the COVID-19 pandemic and to consider how mentorship could be improved to support students of educational leadership (EDLE) during crises.Design/methodology/approachParticipants in this collective self-study were four faculty members (i.e. the authors) within an EDLE program in one public, research-intensive university in the southern USA. Data sources were memos, email correspondence, reflective dialogue, course evaluations and meeting notes. Analysis involved dialogic engagement among the research team to identify emergent themes.FindingsAnalysis revealed five themes that reflect our collective experiences as mentors during the pandemic. These themes were challenges created by dismantled systems; meeting students' needs for understanding, flexibility and meaningful learning experiences; evolving personal–professional boundaries; grappling with our own sense-making and well-beingness; and clarifying values and priorities.Practical implicationsThe pandemic exemplifies the need for a deeper conceptualization of mentorship that stimulates more intimate, compassionate relationships between mentors and mentees. When mentorship is grounded in compassion, intimacy and mutual vulnerability, it demonstrates a genuine ethic of care and concern for others that is supportive of well-being and serves as a model for mentees entering the profession.Originality/valueThis paper extends disciplinary knowledge by focusing on the mentorship of EDLE students during crises and provides insights on how mentorship could be enacted to mutually support mentor–mentee well-being.

Journal

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: May 24, 2021

Keywords: Mentoring; Compassion; COVID-19; Crisis; Educational leadership; Psychosocial development; Well-being

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