Mentoring young learners: does everyone really need a mentor?
Nearly 400 young learners with mentors were studied in a project which ran from 1992-94 at Leeds Metropolitan University. Shows that many learners find effective substitutes for conventional mentors, and, while needing support for their workplace learning, obtain this from a variety of helpers other than a conventionally-defined mentor. Managers are not ideal mentors. Relevant expert knowledge on the part of a mentor is important, as is formality in conducting learner-mentor relationships. Training for mentors is also confirmed as important. Time pressures can prevent would-be mentors from offering their services. Stability of employment for both parties for the duration of the relationship is important.
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