“Mentoring is to support and encourage people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximise their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be.”
Eric Parsloe, The Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring
I teach at Assumption College. We are lucky to have a wonderful program (with accompanying concentration) in Community Service Learning (CSL), run by an equally wonderful Professor Mike Land and coordinator Susan Hayes.
This semester I’m tweaking my Motivation and Emotion course to have a community service learning component. The challenge with CSL courses is being sure that the community service is embedded in the learning goals and activities of the course – the students should not just be helping out, but learning from the helping.
This semester I am teaming up with the African Community Education (ACE) program. They are community-oriented educational program targeted toward African refugee and immigrant children living in Worcester, Massachusetts. As many of these children have come from nations suffering from war and political/social instability, their educations have typically been disrupted and they face many challenges adjusting to the American public school system. ACE provides after-school tutoring, weekend programs, and other services to assist students with this transition.
Following the rich literature on the benefits of mentoring, I am working with the fabulous folk at ACE and our own CSL program to match my Motivation and Emotion students one-on-one in mentoring partnerships with the students of ACE. Together in class, my students will be learning about the latest scientific research on goal-setting, intrinsic motivation, and self-control… and then will be turning this information into lesson plans that they’ll share with their new mentees, with a focus on their educational and vocational futures.
Given the known effects of mentoring (for both the mentor and the mentee) on learning and motivation, and the fact that motivation is itself the subject matter of the mentoring, this feels like a big ole layer cake of motivation.
I’ll let you know how it goes.