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versión On-line ISSN 2304-8557
versión impresa ISSN 0023-270X

Koers (Online) vol.75 no.2 Pretoria  2010


Mentoring to develop research self-efficacy, with particular reference to previously disadvantaged individuals


Die mentor van navorsers om selfdoeltreffendheid te ontwikkel, met besondere verwysing na voorheen-benadeelde individue



S. Schulze

Department of Further Teacher Education, Unisa, PRETORIA. E-mail:




The development of inexperienced researchers is crucial. In response to the lack of research self-efficacy of many previously disadvantaged individuals, the article examines how mentoring can enhance the research self-efficacy of mentees. The study is grounded in the self-efficacy theory (SET) - an aspect of the social cognitive theory (SCT). Insights were gained from an in-depth study of SCT, SET and mentoring, and from a completed mentoring project. This led to the formulation of three basic principles. Firstly, institutions need to provide supportive environmental conditions that facilitate research self-efficacy. This implies a supportive and efficient collective system. The possible effects of performance ratings and reward systems at the institution also need to be considered. Secondly, mentoring needs to create opportunities for young researchers to experience successful learning as a result of appropriate action. To this end, mentees need to be involved in actual research projects in small groups. At the same time the mentor needs to facilitate skills development by coaching and encouragement. Thirdly, mentors need to encourage mentees to believe in their ability to successfully complete research projects. This implies encouraging positive emotional states, stimulating self-reflection and self-comparison with others in the group, giving positive evaluative feedback and being an intentional role model.

Key concepts: mentor previously disadvantaged individuals protégés self-efficacy: research self-efficacy: theory social cognitive theory


Dit is noodsaaklik om onervare navorsers te help ontwikkel om produktief te wees. Baie voorheen-benadeelde individue toon 'n gebrek aan selfdoeltreffendheid ten opsigte van navorsing. Hierdie artikel ondersoek hoe hulle gementor kan word om hulle navorsingselfdoeltreffendheid te verhoog. Die studie word begrond deur die teorie van selfdoeltreffendheid - 'n aspek van die sosiaal-kognitiewe teorie. Insigte wat uit n diepgaande studie van sosiaal-kognitiewe teorie verkry is, uit die selfdoeltreffendheidsteorie en mentorskap, asook uit 'n voltooide mentorprojek, het gelei tot die formulering van drie basiese beginsels. Eerstens behoort instellings 'n ondersteunende omgewing te skep wat selfdoeltreffendheid in navorsing bevorder. Dit impliseer 'n ondersteunende en effektiewe kollektiewe stelsel. Die moontlike effek van prestasie-evaluering- en beloningstelsels moet ook in ag geneem word. Tweedens behoort mentorprojekte geleenthede te skep vir jong navorsers om op grond van geskikte aksies suksesvol te leer. Protégés moet dus in werklike navorsingsprojekte in klein groepies betrek word. Terselfdertyd moet die mentor vaardigheidsontwikkeling fasiliteer deur afrigting ("coaching") en aanmoediging. Mentors moet protégés derdens ondersteun om te glo in hulle eie vermoëns dat hulle suksesvol navorsing kan doen. Dit impliseer die fasilitering van positiewe emosionele toestande, die stimulering van selfrefleksie en n vergelyking met ander in die groep, positiewe evaluerende terugvoer en om n intensionele rolmodel te wees.

Kernbegrippe: mentor protégés selfdoeltreffendheid: navorsing selfdoeltreffendheid: teorie sosiaal kognitiewe teorie voorheen-benadeelde individue



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