Editors Blog

Even older and wiser: Guessing again about how to improve mentoring

  Good tests kill flawed theories; we remain alive to guess again. Karl Popper By Jean Rhodes “Older and wiser: New ideas for mentoring in the 21st Century ” was released in paperback last week. As I reflect on this milestone, I must acknowledge that, in the 2.5 years since the book was published, some […]

Who gets mentored? Reflections on a new national survey

By Jean Rhodes MENTOR: National Mentoring Partnership recently released the results of an impressive new survey of the childhood mentoring experience of 2,639 adults. It’s a long report– 63 page, 7 Table, 44 figures–so I thought I’d provide a summary and analysis. This is by no means comprehensive. The focus is largely on the prevalence […]

New findings from the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring

By Jean Rhodes For the past decade, my students, colleagues, and I have hosted a workshop at the National Mentoring Summit to report the latest research findings from the Center for Evidence-Based Mentoring. Since we’re doing something different this year (more below), we thought it might be helpful to share some of the highlights of […]

Reflections on a major new evaluation of community-based mentoring

By Jean Rhodes Mentoring experts Carla Herrera, David DuBois, Janet Heubach, and Jean Grossman have just published a major new randomized controlled trial of the effects Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) Community-Based Mentoring (CBM) Program on the social-emotional, behavioral, and academic outcomes of youth. The study included over 700 9- to 14-year-olds who […]

All ears: Four good reasons to take a more targeted approach to mentoring

By Jean Rhodes For nearly a century, many mentoring programs have tasked their volunteers with building friendships by being genuinely responsive and engaging in shared activities. A study of nearly 2,000 mentors from thirty nationally representative youth mentoring programs operating across the United States, mentors were asked how they spent time with their mentees (Jarjoura […]

Mentoring and politics: Some resources and expert advice

by Jean Rhodes Mentors are often instructed to avoid discussing politics.  But, in this political climate, is it even possible or advisable to avoid politics altogether? With the midterms, contested runoffs, and legal battles, and next presidential race saturating the media, many young people want to understand and engage in conversations with their mentors.  Mentoring […]

How the growth mindset shrank: Lessons for the field of youth mentoring

By Jean Rhodes In his smart new opinion piece, Stuart Richie describes how the growth mindset idea spread despite the lack of strong evaluation results. As you probably know, the basic idea of growth mindset, is that learners can work hard and improve their ability (e.g., in math). This is typically contrasted with a fixed […]

It’s time to shed light on the “black box” of mentoring programs

By Jean Rhodes For the most part, the field of mentoring has not yet specified the precise conditions under which different approaches to mentoring “work.”  Psychologist, Patrick Tolan and his colleagues have argued that the mentoring field’s resistance to identifying, implementing, and adhering to standards, including specifying how program inputs relate to outcomes, stems from […]

Untapped potential: New paper argues for deploying mentors to address youth mental health crisis

By Jean Rhodes Big Picture The demand for child mental health services vastly exceeds the supply. Fewer than half of young people who need services actually receive treatment, and this gap is expected to widen as rates of mental health problems continue to climb. Mentors can help, particularly if the field more fully embraces what […]

Summer memories and a major study on friendship and mobility

by Jean Rhodes When I was growing up Allendale, NJ in the 1960’s and 70’s, a family’s social class didn’t define life and determine social mobility the way it does now. Resources varied pretty widely across neighborhoods and families, but Allendale’s 6,000 residents all seemed to know each other. We all spent our long, unscheduled […]