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					The chess coach: what can we learn
  from mentoring as an educational

  Kate Philip, The Rowan Group

  CISCCON International Conference
        University of Aberdeen
   30th August – 1st September 2007
        This presentation will
 Explore dimensions of youth mentoring

 Relate these to approaches to informal

 Raise questions about how mentoring
  processes might interact with the role of the
  chess coach
      Researching mentoring

 Previous work - young people’s
  perspectives on ‘natural mentoring’
 Typology of informal mentoring
 Study of organised mentoring (Sharing a
Where has mentoring emerged
– Arguably based on ancient myths
– Waves of youth mentoring
– A response to fears about and for youth
– Perceived decline in intergenerational
  relationships and in neighbourhood
– Broad appeal to a range of interests
– Idea of community base and link with
  Puttnam’s notion of social capital
    What is Youth mentoring?

The mentor is someone with greater experience or
wisdom than the mentee. Second the mentor offers
guidance or instruction that is intended to facilitate the
growth and development of the mentee. Third, there is an
emotional bond between mentor and mentee, a hallmark
of which is a sense of trust
(Dubois and Karcher, 2005:3)
 A ‘protective’ factor or a ‘steeling
  mechanism (resilience)
 A consistent and continuing presence
 A guide, adviser, broker, supporter (social
 Community based (ecological)
            Informal Education
 Emphasis on dialogue between teachers and
  learners and learners themselves

 Experiential and grounded

 A co-operative process

 Aim of critical reflection
  Mentoring – informal education
 You do the stuff that you are meant to do but with
  (the mentor) it is different and you’re doing it
  because you want to
      A starting point for educational processes to begin
      Negotiated agenda and boundaries
      A bridge to new experiences and sometimes social worlds (for
       mentors and mentees)
      A catalyst to build up new skills
      A means of ensuring compliance or critical thinking?
 Informal and Formal mentoring
 Distinction between informal mentoring and
  formal mentoring
 Both have educational aims although these
  are often implicit
 Planned mentoring often explicitly based on
  a deficit model of young people
          Informal Mentoring
 Active participation
 Resolving conflict, renegotiating
  relationships, trying out new identity
 A ‘safe setting’ in which to take risks in
  learning – leaving the ‘baggage behind’
 Chess as a starting point?
Mentoring     Classic       Individual/   Best         Peer          Long term
Forms                       Team          Friend       Group             ‘risky

Gender        Male          Female        Female       Both          Both
Context       Home          Youth         Home         Street        Home and street
              based         Groups        based

Life          Empathy       Acceptance    Rehearsa     Managing      Recognition
events        Recognition   of peer             l      reputations   and life crises
              Of            Group         for action   Identity
              aspiration    and                        Lifestyle
              to role       Youth
              models        Culture
Qualities     Advisory,     Mentors       Recipro      Reciprocity   Reciprocity
Sought        guide,        Empatheti         city     And           and
/identified   outsider         c          And          equality      Non
                                              equ                    conformity
    Findings: formal mentoring
 Many in the sample had poor educational
  experiences and were excluded from
 Mentoring offered some young people a
  means of developing alternative forms of
 Successful mentors went beyond traditional
  professional boundaries
    The importance of relationship
 Reciprocity – sharing a laugh
 A voluntary relationship
 Negotiating boundaries and agendas
 An alternative to sometimes difficult peer
  and family relationships
 Qualities of trust, shared interests, challenge
  and respect
                                                                                        ted              unity
Underlying    Deficit model of     Remedy absence         Deficit model: lack     Disruptive/      Yp alienated
     assu            yp/family         of or missed              social capital   challenging            from
     mptio                             opportunities             and access             behavi           mainstr
     ns                                to build                  to networks.           our              eam
                                       expertise                                        often            commu
                                                                                        linked           nity –
                                                                                        to               often
                                                                                        school           linked
                                                                                        s                with (i)
Theoretical   Attachment           Mentoring as           Ecology of              Cognitive        Ecology of
     frame          theory/res           ‘professional          development            behavi            develo
     work           ilience/so           friendship’-     Social capital and           oural             pment;
     –              cial           Youth transitions            social                 therapy     Attachment;
     (expli         capital        Social support               inclusion              ;                 resilien
     cit or         (bridging)                                                         resilien          ce;
     implic         /develop                                                           ce;
     it)            mental                                                             social
                    psych                                                              capital
Target        Children from        ‘underachievin         ‘underachieving’        NEET;            Yp from
Groups              single         disadvantaged,         Possible school             substa             margin
(mentees)           parent         potentially at risk,         problems,             nce                alised
                    family;              esp young              poor                  misuse             groups
                    isolated             men                    background            rs, yp             eg
                    yp;                                                               in                 minorit
                    known                                                             crimina            y
                    family                                                            l justice          ethnic
                    difficulties                                                      system
Target        Male ‘role           Volunteers and         Volunteers ideally      volunteers to    ‘community’
     group          models’              sometime               with business           comple          membe
     s              favoured             paid staff.            background/k            ment            rs –
     (ment          but                  Skills in key          nowledge.               work of         often
     ors)           majority             areas, ability         Complement              paid            unclear
                    women                to relate to           work of paid            staff           which
                                         yp                     staff                                   commu
Strategies    Building social      Develop                Link with               Confidence/r     Confidence,
                     skills             relationship            individuals/ag          esilienc         solidari
                                        via shared              encies and              e,               ty,
                                        interest/activ          young                   explore          strengt
         But caution needed
 Moving on and moving out
 Coercive mentoring and ‘unfriendly contexts’
 Unsuccessful mentoring can undermine
  confidence and capacity
 A ‘risky’ process for all involved
        Building a mentor rich
 Assumption that young people have few
  opportunities to develop informal
  relationships with adults
 Capitalising on shared interests and
 Offering a link between individual and group
 Need for longitudinal insights
      Mentoring and coaching
What does youth mentoring have to offer in
 this field?
  – Mentoring as an educational intervention
  – The importance of relationships to learning
  – A community based approach
  – Links with coaching practices
         Mentoring and chess
 Does chess playing offer a means of engaging
  with young people who may wish a mentor?
 To what extent should peer mentoring be
  developed within chess playing groups?
 Could chess playing offer a setting in which
  mentoring relationships could be developed for
  excluded young people?

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