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What is Mentoring?
The term mentor derives from a proper name in the Odyssey, that of Odysseus's trusted counselor, whose guise the godess Athena assumed when she took on the role of guardian and teacher to Odysseus's son. A mentor is a more experienced individual who servies as a role mdel and actively guides, advises, and promote's another career and training. This relationship is usually long-term and based on a strong personal commitment on part of the mentor. For more informaton see Dr. Vivian Weil's article, "Mentoring: Some Ethical Considerations." in Science and Engineering Ethics, 7(4): 471-482.
Mentoring Case Studies
Mentoring Case Studies
Clicking on this link will launch a search in the Ethics Education Library for ethics case studies about mentoring. The Ethics Education Library has been developed by the Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at IIT.
Web articles and tutorials on Mentoring
An online tutorial looking at the importance of mentoring for the promotion of responsible conduct of research, the ethical issues that may arise in the mentor-trainee relationship, and ways to become an effective mentor. Developed by Columbia University’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning.
Supervisor-Trainee Relationships Tutorial
An online module developed by Dr. Caroline Whitbeck at Online Ethics Center that includes an introductory essay, and number of case studies to be discussed, and well as recommended reading and web sources on mentoring.
How to Get the Mentor You Want: A Guide for Graduate Students at a Diverse University
This publication seeks to provide graduate students with a description of the importance of the mentoring relationship, how to find a good mentor, how to be a good mentor, and how to deal with problems that may arise. The second section of the publication provides specific advice for students and of diverse backgrounds on finding some specific challenges they and faculty from diverse backgrounds sometimes face in the mentoring relationship, and how these challenges can be overcome.
How to Mentor Graduate Students: A Guide for Faculty
This publication is a guide for faculty mentors of graduate students discusses the role a mentor plays in a student's educational experience, gives general guidelines about being a good mentor, suggestions for initial meetings and how to develop a professional relationship with your students, and how individual departments can encourage mentoring. The publication also includes further reading and a list of resources available at the University of Michigan for graduate student mentors.
Print Articles on Mentoring
Guston, David H. “Mentorship and the Research Training Experience.” In Responsible Science, Volume II: Background Papers and Resource Documents. Washington D.C. : National Academies Press, 1993.
This paper describes the role of mentorship in the contemporary research environment and distinguishes it from other important relationships in the training of new researchers. The paper also discusses efforts by universities to improve mentorship practices.
National Academy of Sciences (1997), Advisor, Teacher, Role Model, Friend: On Being a Mentor to Students in Science and Engineering. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C.
This report offers mentoring advice for faculty, administrators, and all others who counsel science and engineering students.
Weil, Vivian. “Mentoring: some ethical considerations.” Science and Engineering Ethics. 7.4 (July 2001) 471-482. (Print copy available at CSEP Library)
The author argues for an"honorific" definition of mentoring, according to which a mentor is virtuous like a saint or hero. She then differentiates between what is meant by an advisor and a mentor. Namely, the role of advisor can be specified, mandated, and monitored, whereas mentoring must be a voluntary activity.
Find more articles and resources on mentoring by visiting the Ethics Education Library.
O, What a Tangled Web We Weave!
This case discusses the need for clarification of what is expected of a mentor, an advisor or a supervisor to a graduate student, the differences between mentors and advisors and the need for improved communication between both parties.
How Much Help Is Too Much?
A mentor tries to help a student having troubles in his studies by helping him out on tests, adding him as an author on a paper when the student's own experiments fail, and assisting him during his dissertation. How far is too far when a mentor helps out his student?