Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
In this qualitative case study, we have investigated the interactions among the mentors and the mentees who have been collaboratively working to provide in-class and on-time support to the elementary level teachers as they deliver technology infused and engineering based maker activities appropriate for the elementary student’s levels. The mentees, who are the recruited undergraduate students at a Research I Institution at Southwest US, meet with the mentors weekly over the semester to receive training on how to teach engineering to the elementary school student. The case under investigation is the weekly training sessions and their impact on mentees’ approaches to and their self-efficacy in teaching. In this paper we posed two research questions: “(1) How did the mentees’ approaches to teaching evolve over the course of the semester as they participated in the weekly training sessions?” and “(2) What was the impact of the person-environment (P-E) fit among the mentors and the mentees on the mentees’ self-efficacy in teaching engineering content to the elementary students?” The mentors are graduate students and faculty members at the university. Their teaching foci have diverged as some focused on teaching the technical knowledge and some have focused on teaching the pedagogical knowledge. The mentees’ educational background, majors at the university, and previous teaching/tutoring experiences and interactions with elementary students also differ. It is likely that the mentees will response differently to the varying types of mentors because of their varied interests and expertise and thus their self-efficacy in teaching will also be affected by the interactions with their mentors. While the extant literature has addressed the significant outcome of mentees’ self-efficacy in teaching (Caprara, Barbaranelli, Steca, & Malone, 2006; Schiefele & Schaffner, 2015; Yoon, 2002), how the relationship between mentees and their mentors influence mentees’ self-efficacy is less researched, especially from the person-environment (P-E) fit perspective. P-E fit perspective is a continuous process that both parties (i.e., mentors and mentees) compare their personalities and experiences (Rounds & Tracey, 1990). For example, mentees who are specialists in computer programming but struggling with class management may find an experienced mentor, who is excellent at teaching more beneficial. However, if the reciprocal and ongoing P-E fit process in the intimate mentor-mentee relationship is misaligned, the mentorship outcome is most likely to be dreadful (Rounds & Tracey, 1990). Ergo, the fit between mentors and mentees may influence mentees’ self-efficacy in teaching engineering content to the elementary students. The main contribution of this study lies in examining mentorship from a P-E fit perspective in the context of teaching elementary students engineering content. We zero in on the mentor-mentee relationship from a P-E fit perspective, exploring the predictors of a successful mentorship that increases mentees’ self-efficacy. We will interview six mentees using a semi-structured interview protocol as they are receiving the training to teach the elementary level. We will audio record the interview conversations and then transcribe them verbatim. We will use thematic narrative analysis to examine the personal experiences shared by each participant about their mentorship and how this mentor-mentee relationship affects their self-efficacy in teaching (Sandelowski, 1991). We will also conduct observations at the classrooms the mentees help teach the engineering content. Mentees will be asked to write journals after each of their classroom participation. The journals will be analyzed and used as data source to gain insights among the differences between the mentees with high self-efficacy versus low self-efficacy in teaching..
Xie, L., & Natarajarathinam, M., & Yalvac, B. (2020, June), Impact of Mentor-Mentee Fit in Preparing Undergraduate STEM Students to Teach Engineering Technology for Elementary Students Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34755
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