Review: Enhancing Mentoring Across the Disciplines: Via the Adaptive Mentorship© Model

Enhancing Mentoring Across the Disciplines: Via the Adaptive Mentorship© Model

Edwin G. Ralph & Keith D. Walker, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan

Bridges Newsletter, University of Saskatchewan, Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness
May 2012, Volume 10, No 3; Retrieved from the Bridges archive:       

Review by Julie Timmermans, Instructional Developer, University of Waterloo

Based on research conducted over the past two decades by the authors, this article provides a framework for conceptualizing the mentoring relationship and activities. 

The authors describe Adaptive Mentorship© as a model “that guides mentors in adjusting their mentoring responses to appropriately match the task-specific development level of protégés whom they are assisting in the learning/working situation” (p. 9).  So, on a specific task, a mentor would adapt his/her response on two levels: the level of psycho-emotional support provided, and the level of technical direction provided to meet the needs of the protégé according to the protégé’s levels of confidence and competence on that task.  For example, when working with a protégé with a high level of confidence, but a low level of technical skill for a certain task, a mentor would provide a low level of psycho-emotional support, but a high level of technical support.
The model situates the mentoring relationship within the multiple contexts within which such relationships take place.  Steps for implementing the model, which include “determining the protégé’s development,” “synchronizing the mentor’s response,” and “monitoring the protégé’s development” are explained, and a useful visual of the model helps readers conceptualize the theory.


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