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ERIC Number: EJ863603
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1059-0145
Toward a Holistic View of Undergraduate Research Experiences: An Exploratory Study of Impact on Graduate/Postdoctoral Mentors
Dolan, Erin; Johnson, Deborah
Journal of Science Education and Technology, v18 n6 p487-500 Dec 2009
Involvement in research has become a fixture in undergraduate science education across the United States. Graduate and postdoctoral students are often called upon to mentor undergraduates at research universities, yet mentoring relationships in undergraduate-graduate/postdoctoral student dyads and undergraduate-graduate/postdoctoral student-faculty triads have been largely unexamined. Here, we present findings of an exploratory case study framed by relational theory that identifies the motives, gains, and challenges reported by graduate/postdoctoral students who mentored undergraduates in research. Graduate/postdoctoral mentors experienced a wide range of gains, including improved qualifications and career preparation, cognitive and socioemotional growth, improved teaching and communication skills, and greater enjoyment of their own apprenticeship experience. Notably, graduate/postdoctoral mentors reported twice as many gains as challenges, neither of which were limited by their motives for mentoring. Indeed, their motives were fairly narrow and immediate, focusing on how mentoring would serve as a means to an end, while the gains and challenges they reported indicated a longer-term vision of how mentoring influenced their personal, cognitive, and professional growth. We propose that understanding the impact of mentoring undergraduates on the education and training of graduate/postdoctoral students may uncover new ideas about the benefits reaped through undergraduate research experiences.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail: service-ny@springer.com; Web site: http://www.springerlink.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States