Mentors in the classroom : an exploratory qualitative study of the beliefs and behaviors of faculty mentor exemplars at the United States Naval Academy
Raithel, Jeffrey R.
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This study investigated those beliefs and behaviors of exemplary faculty mentors for United States Naval Academy Midshipmen. The mission of the USNA is to develop young men and women morally, physically, and mentally. A clear task of the USNA faculty is to be the principle tool in the academic development of the midshipmen. However, the faculty is also in a unique position to be instrumental in the moral and character development of midshipmen. This thesis focused on the mentor-protege relationship from the faculty mentor's perspective and attempted to identify those beliefs and behaviors common among effective faculty mentors. The following five propositions are put forward as results of this study: 1) Exemplary mentors appear to have high emotional receptivity; 2) The primary motivation of exemplary mentors is a strong desire to help others; 3) Exemplary mentors appear to possess strong relationship skills and employ those skills in their educational techniques; 4) Organizational factors can inhibit or promote mentoring within an academic environment; 5) Civilian faculty do not feel they were less influential than military instructors. Regarding the midshipmen, this study suggests that midshipmen do experience mentoring although not necessarily according to the classical definition. Furthermore, midshipmen are more likely to be mentored by faculty members that participate in extra-curricular activities outside of the classroom.
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