The perceived influence of past mentoring experiences on the mentoring practices of selected female school executives
Ashley, Betty Diane
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Although research on mentoring dates back to the early 1980?s, there is little research available which examines the influence of past mentoring experiences on relationships in which female school executives, in turn, serve as the mentors. This interpretive qualitative case study, based on data collected from conversational interviews with three selected female school executives, was designed to explore and investigate the past and present mentoring relationships of these female school executives to understand more clearly the influence of their past mentoring experiences. Four distinct strands of mentoring interactions emerged from the key findings of this study. The four strands include: Strand I: Career Development and Psychosocial Functions, Strand II: Attributes of Successful Mentoring Relationships, Strand III: Values of Successful Mentoring Relationships, and Strand IV: Mutual Attraction, Reciprocity, and Interpersonal Comfort. After studying the various data that were collected, it became evident that the degree of influence of past mentoring experiences is interdependent and mutually connected to the mentoring interactions of Strand IV: Mutual Attraction, Reciprocity, and Interpersonal Comfort. In these specified relationships, there appeared to be a greater degree of emotional connectivity and intimacy which served as an avenue to support the influence of past mentoring experiences in relationships where these females, in turn, mentored others. Studies, such as this, add to the literature base regarding the importance of mentoring for females and thus affect mentoring practices, policies, and guidelines and serve to address the gap which sometimes exits between theory and practice. Since research has shown females remain historically underrepresented in educational leadership positions and mentoring is critical to the success of females who do occupy these positions, it is females who should gain the most benefit from studies of this nature.