Pages

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Shifting from mentoring to "unmentoring"

Mentoring in a network environment means facilitating an individual to a point when the mentor is no longer needed - taking the mentee from being dependent to independent, to interdependent. A mentor should guide the mentee in finding additional nodes (both human and nonhuman devices) that aid personal learning. If a mentor and mentee are working within the same organization, which would take precedent, personal or “shared”, organizational mission or vision statements? “Mentoring” someone towards a mission or vision of an organization seems like brainwashing. It's all about working towards personal goals while attending the need for earning a living.

 

...in a networked learning environment where learner autonomy could be more important than anything else...

 

If one agrees that a connective community involves what Downes has referred to as being autonomous, open, diverse, and interactive, I would argue that one is no more important than any other. They all influence each other to a point that if I am not open, or willing to accept other perspectives, or am not interactive, then I can't really be autonomous, for example. A mentor should coach a mentee to be all of these things. If a mentee is being honest about learning in a connective community and the organization's mission and vision align to that of the mentee's, then it would seem that this would be more relevant than simply the mentor/mentee relationship. If a mentee is still at a dependent stage, then the individual is not quite ready to reap the benefits of participating in a connective community.