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Metaphors and mentoring: constructing a mentor typology from the perspective of student mentors

L Scanlon International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring 2009

Although there is an extensive mentoring literature there is a dearth of literature which addresses questions such as ‘What does it mean to be a mentor?’ or ‘What do mentors do?’ from a mentor perspective (Heirdfield, Walker, Walsh & Wilss, 2008). This paper draws on entry and exit surveys and interview data from a qualitative research project, in an Australian university and addresses these questions from the perspective of student mentors engaged in mentoring first year students in their transition to university. The paper begins by contextualising the research within a specific mentor programme and within a research methodology. The paper then presents a mentor typology constructed from the metaphors used by the research participants in examining their experiences as student mentors. This is followed by an examination of the typologies in the mentoring literature

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