The purpose of this paper is to describe a qualitative action research study into the collective experiences of establishing a mentoring culture within a research triad consisting of a university professor together with a doctoral student and a master's level student who served as research assistants (RAs). This paper documents a process of ongoing reflection, which was used to gain insight about the personal selves, the professional selves, the role of being a RA, and concepts, ideas, and frameworks that might be useful in fulfilling the work inside and outside of the collaborative research project.
A Faculty of Education within a Canadian university provided the context for the study. A large-scale, pan-Canadian document analysis research project served as the context for mentorship activities. The Adaptive Mentorship© model (Ralph and Walker, 2010) was the tool used to document and analyze experiences of working on the research project. Completion of individual mentoring session reflections, as recommended by the Adaptive Mentorship© model, provided a means for documenting the process and experiences within the triad.
Findings indicated that the enhancement of working environment and the professional growth of all three members of the research triad were primarily achieved as a result of the commitment to collaborative mentoring for the duration of this project rather than as a direct result of application of the model. Nonetheless, the application of the Adaptive Mentorship© model within the research project triad proved to be a valuable tool for supporting the social competence-based and experiential needs.
In the context of this study, collaborative mentoring led to professional growth and an enhancement of the working environment due to multiple contact-points and exposures to specific tasks or skill-sets. The establishment of the mentoring culture and continued identification of individual needs within the triad allowed for adaptive support, appropriate skills development, and an increase in confidence necessary for both students to be successful in their RA positions and in turn, successfully support the university professor to complete the project. The experience suggests that the Adaptive Mentorship© model, if further refined, could be applied to graduate RAships with multiple participants, increasing the potential to enhance research experiences through its focus on one or several specific tasks or skill-sets around which the work is organized.
Godden, L., Tregunna, L. and Kutsyuruba, B. (2014), "Collaborative application of the Adaptive Mentorship© model: The professional and personal growth within a research triad", International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 125-140. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMCE-09-2013-0054Download as .RIS
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