The research base around youth mentoring has grown considerably over the last decade and it seems that every few months a new report or resource comes along that improves our understanding of how to deliver mentoring services and what they can achieve. Already this year we have the valuable insights from the Role of Risk report, while May will see the release of the second edition of the Handbook of Youth Mentoring. We should be thankful that the mentoring field has more information and a deeper understanding of our work than ever before.
But for all these efforts, there are still many aspects of youth mentoring where our practice is outpacing the research. Different program models, new strategies for relationship building, increasingly specific populations of youth being served… It often feels like the research struggles to keep up with the innovations in our programs. This leaves gaps in our understanding of best practice and a lack of information to base our program decisions on.
So our poll this week is: What new mentoring research would be most beneficial to you and the work of your program? What do you need to know more about to do your good work? What do you wish researchers would focus on? We ran a version of this poll during the March Collaborative Webinar on the new Handbook and got some interesting results. I’m curious to hear what our Chronicle readers have to say!
If one of these choices really resonates with you or has importance for your program, tell us why in the comments below!