Mentoring is a professional practice that supports the learning and development of groups and individuals working within complex educational environments. The two-way or reciprocal process of mentoring, yields far-reaching benefits for mentees, mentors and learning communities.
Research indicates that mentoring provides both personal and emotional support as well as professional development and satisfaction. For mentees benefits include: career advancement, psychosocial support such as encouragement, friendship, and feedback opportunities to develop competencies, skills, and knowledge to improve performance. For mentors, it promotes professional and personal development, improved skills, knowledge and access to new ideas. For educational communities, mentoring enhances the development of quality learning and teaching in schools, early learning centres and higher education contexts.
Informal or formal approaches to mentoring occur in many organisations focussed on continual professional learning. Mentoring is a way of working collaboratively, embedded informally in daily operations in the support and guidance provided to colleagues. It can also be a formal relationship established in educational settings through developmental mentoring programs that target specific knowledge and skills to transform practices.