What does mentoring really mean? What can be achieved through mentor relationships?
This timely book examines one of the fastest growing social movements of our time. As millions of volunteers worldwide continue to add to the mentoring phenomenon, the need for this authoritative text becomes increasingly evident. It capably traces the history of mentoring, unravelling the many myths that surround it, with a combination of intellectual rigour, insight and lucid discussions.
The author draws upon detailed case studies, providing a unique and vivid account of mentoring through the voices of the participants themselves. These eye-opening narratives reveal the complex power dynamics of the mentor relationship, giving the reader the chance to:
* Contextualise mentoring against the background policy driven schemes and social inequalities;
* Look beyond the popular myths of self-sacrificing and devoted mentors, and understand the emotional cost of mentoring;
* Appreciate young people's view of mentoring and recognise the benefits and the counterproductive outcomes it can produce;
* Reflect on a range of models of mentoring, and consider policies to support good practice.
The strength of this book lies in the author's ability to present complex material in a highly readable form. It offers a radically new theoretical analysis of mentoring, based on award-winning research, arguing that mentoring cannot be separated from the wider power relations that surround those involved. For anyone with a professional commitment or link to mentoring, including managers, practitioners and policy-makers, this is an essential, incomparable read.
Dr Helen Colley is Senior Research Fellow at the Lifelong Learning Institute, University of Leeds and a Fellow of the National Institute of Careers Education and Counselling
'This is a scholarly text, which traces the history of mentoring and unravels its mythology. At the same time it also critically probes in some depth the tough realities of what Colley calls 'mentor relationships', using illustrations from an empirical research project that she conducted on mentoring practice within a youth training programme ... It is a powerful human story. Mentoring can make a difference to the quality of individual lives but it will struggle to do so if it has to operate within a bureaucratic straitjacket.' - Howard Williamson, Young People Now
'The book is well written and organized, and Colley argues her case convincingly. This should provide an enjoyable and thought-provoking read for both policy makers and practitioners. [It] is an excellent example of an in-depth investigation using qualitative methods in the development of a theoretical framework.' - Psychology, Health & Medicine
'This book is stimulating on a range of levels and encourages the reader to explore the ideas and issues further ... It is an excellent and accessible read.' - Youth and Policy
'This book is just what it says on the cover- timely, authoritative, rigorous, insightful and lucid! It is also an extremely engaging read.'
'...offers real insight into the complexities of this growing social phenomenon.'
'In her very detailed case examples later in the book, Colley raises the question of goals or objectives within mentoring for social inclusion'
'If...we are seeking to develop, to learn and improve, we start to offer another way to understand evaluation. Colley's work is offering us just this.'
'Colley offers us some helpful and practical suggestions at the end of her book. I suggest that policy makers and scheme co-ordinators start to take these on board.' - all Bob Garvey in British Journal of Education Studies, June 2005