To draw on a structured review of the literature on formalised mentoring programs for principals with the purpose of exploring their nature and the positive and negative outcomes for the parties involved.
The methodological approach utilised in this paper was a structured review of the literature which is a pre‐determined set of criteria, namely a set of coding categories, used for analysing research papers. Forty research‐based papers constituted the structured review and major coding categories utilised in this paper were positive and negative outcomes of mentoring programs for mentors and mentees and factual data relating to the research focus of the sample.
Both positive and negative outcomes of mentoring were reported in the 40 research‐based papers, with substantially more papers reporting positive outcomes. Frequently cited positive outcomes for mentees included support, sharing ideas and professional development, while, for mentors, networking, professional development and the opportunity to reflect were noted. Frequently cited negative outcomes for mentors and mentees were lack of time to undertake mentoring and personality or expertise mismatch.
The findings highlight the necessity for planners of programs to ensure that mentors are trained; the matching process is executed to eliminate potential incompatibilities; and time for mentoring is factored into program implementation.
The major contribution of the paper is that it makes a strong claim about the specific outcomes of mentoring programs for principals, thereby providing a clearer picture regarding its potential as well as its caveats.
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