National University of Singapore (SINGAPORE)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2013 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Pages: 4969-4975
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain
This work follows our earlier publication in ICERI 2012 on Integrated‐Science Curriculum in the Special Programme in Science (SPS), Science Faculty, National University of Singapore [1]. SPS was established in 1996 as the faculty’s premiere academic programme to nurture aspirant scientists toward the growing R&D demands of a 21st-century knowledge‐based economy. When the programme was established, the Faculty envisioned a programme that would have the buy-in from the main stakeholders, i.e. the students themselves. They envisioned a programme where students could contribute back and have ownership of, so the resources spent on one particular cohort would not simply disappear once the cohort graduated from the programme. Instead, the knowledge and experience could accumulate and be passed down to the subsequent generations of students. SPS was thus envisioned as a programme where students themselves are actively taking charge in the planning and running of it through student mentorship.

Peer-mentorship is defined as a form of mentorship that usually takes place between a person who has lived through a specific experience (peer-mentor) and a person who is new to that experience (the peer-mentee) [2]. This article thus describes how SPS students view mentorship as an integral part to their ‘holistic’ SPS education; they start as apprentices at the recipient-end and after two years of going through the Integrated Science Curriculum, they are promoted to mentors to be at the giving-end of the passing of knowledge and skill to the new cohort of students. Hence, the responsibilities of the SPS mentors include, but are not limited to: interviewing SPS applicants; supervising the Independent Focus projects and the Integrated Science Projects; guiding tutorial discussion; and grading. Bearing in mind that many SPS students may eventually move on to research and academia, they perceive mentorship as an opportunity to acquire teaching and mentoring skills, as well as other soft skills, which will eventually be relevant to their future career. The selection process, training and organization of the student mentorship will also be discussed in further details.

[1]. A. Dewanto, C.N.B. Udalagama, L. Gapter, L. Sellou, Z.H. Lim, R. Jaidev, A.M. Lee (2012) Special Programme in Science: A Pedagogical Model for Teaching The Integrated-Science Curriculum to Undergraduates, ICERI2012 Proceedings, pp. 6170-6180
[2]. B. Bozeman, M.K. Feeney (2007) Toward a Useful Theory of Mentoring: A Conceptual Analysis and Critique, Administration & Society 39 (6), pp.719–739
Peer-learning, student-mentorship.