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The principalship: how significant is mentoring?

Brian Hansford (Centre for Learning Innovation, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Australia)
Lisa C. Ehrich (School of Learning and Professional Studies, Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Australia)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Article publication date: 1 January 2006

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Keywords

Citation

Hansford, B. and Ehrich, L.C. (2006), "The principalship: how significant is mentoring?", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 44 No. 1, pp. 36-52. https://doi.org/10.1108/09578230610642647

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited