PEER GROUP MENTORING AS A WAY TO SUPPORT THE WELL-BEING AND COMPETENCE DEVELOPMENT OF UNIVERSITY PERSONNEL
Laurea University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
About this paper:
Conference name: 12th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 11-13 November, 2019
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:When discussing peer group mentoring there are several related concepts, such as peer learning, tutoring and mentoring. The term ‘peer’ refers to a person with a comparable position as the other persons involved (SunWolf, 2008, Skaniakos and Piirainen, 2019). According to Skaniakos and Piirainen (2019), the traditional mentoring idea differs in two ways in peer group mentoring. Peer group mentoring differs from a hierarchical mentor-mentee relationship (e.g. Quinn, Muldoon, & Hollingworth, 2002; Thomas, Bystydzienski, & Desai, 2015), as the role of the “mentor” shifts within the group. Kroll (2016) describes the difference with the distribution of power and authority, flattening of hierarchy, increased confidence, better self-understanding, and professional development. Secondly, the central aspect in peer group mentoring is the group.
The project managers in universities of applied sciences are often quite lonely in their task, when most of the colleagues are just teaching and guiding the students. In this article, the experiences of peer group mentoring to support project managers´ competence development and well-being in higher education is presented. In this context, the peer group mentoring is seen as a method for collegial working, which supports the sharing of tacit knowledge, experiences and attitudes, team working in expert organizations, developing the organizational culture and operations, as well as learning and getting familiar with new tasks at work in different stages of careers. All the members, juniors and seniors, in a peer group can learn from each other equally around the joint objectives – the differences in expertise, responsibilities and obligations are seen enriching.
This article answers the questions why, how and what is done and learnt. The article describes the experiences of the pilot case, where the project managers of three universities of applied sciences from different disciplines are brought together to share and learn in peer groups.
Keywords: Peer group mentoring, learning, well-being, competence development, university personnel.