Feedback Provision in Mentoring Conversation - Differing Mentor and Student Perceptions

Bettina Korver, Harm Tillema


Diverging perceptions between a mentor and a mentee on the nature and content of feedback given in mentoring conversations may have a profound impact on the mentee’s learning from conversation. This study gauges whether approaches to mentoring relate to establishing congruency in perceptions on provided feedback. The aim of this research is to study differences in mentor and student perceptions of feedback provided during mentoring sessions. For that purpose, this study compares typical mentoring approaches across different settings.

Sixty eight students (37 Teaching Assistant (TA) students in secondary vocational education and 31 Teacher Education (TE) students in Higher Education) and their mentors participated in this study. Mentoring conversations on teaching internships of these students were analyzed. A questionnaire instrument was used to gauge 1) acceptance of feedback from mentoring as well as 2) following recommendations after feedback provision. Approaches to mentors’ conversation styles were identified with an observation instrument categorizing mentoring into four types. TA students predominantly recognized their mentor’ s approach as having a Imperator (supervising) style, while the TE students identified it as an Initiator (engaging style). As a result, TA students expressed a higher degree of acceptance of feedback, as compared to TE students. Differences in perception between students and their mentors on feedback provision were found to be significant.

Our findings point to the importance of mentoring approach as it impinges on the feedback acceptance in mentoring  conversations.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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