Mentoring Urban Talent: Impact of a Mentoring Program for Talented Secondary School Youth in Rotterdam, The Netherlands
WORKSHOP LED BY LONNEKE A. L. DE MEIJER
Dr. Lonneke de Meijer is assistant professor in Educational Sciences at Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Her research is in the field of diversity issues in youth development and education, among which supporting talented urban youth by means of mentoring. Another line of research is about working and professionalizing in culturally diverse teaching settings. De Meijer’s Ph.D. research was on diversity issues in personnel selection, looking at applicant, selection measure, and assessor effects on score differences of various selection measures between native Dutch applicants and applicants with a migration background in The Netherlands. De Meijer is a fellow of the Center for Learning & Innovation (CLI). CLI is a knowledge network that supports innovations in higher education at Erasmus University.
Introduction: The mentoring program Mentoring Urban Talent is a school‐based (i.e., taking place at school) peer‐to‐peer mentoring program (i.e., individually based mentoring by a student mentor as a role model) aimed at talented secondary school pupils in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The secondary school pupils in this project are mentored by students that are enrolled at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Mentoring Urban Talent was designed, developed, and implemented in the school year 2018‐2019.
A large proportion of the pupils in Rotterdam, especially those living on the South bank of the city, come from low social‐economic status (SES) environments and are of migrant background. Although children from a low SES background generally have a supportive home environment when it comes to strengthening their school career, this support often goes hand in hand with high expectations and a lack of instrumental help (Rezai, 2017). As a result, these children are less likely to enroll in tertiary education. The aim of Mentoring Urban Talent is improving learning skills and providing social support and school career guidance. Also, student mentors as a role model can provide information on tertiary education and they can open up their social networks to the pupils. These endeavors intend to strengthen self‐efficacy and motivation, and ultimately, improve academic outcomes of these secondary school pupils, especially from low SES backgrounds.
Method: This research discusses the implementation of the Mentoring Urban Talent program in one 3rd-year classroom of pupils enrolled in pre‐university secondary education (i.e., the highest level of secondary education in The Netherlands, preparing children for enrollment in research university). We used a pre‐test post‐test control group design to investigate to what extent self‐efficacy and motivation developed among 60 3rd‐year pupils (age 14‐15). Our experimental group consists of 31 pupils. This group By Charlotte Boussevain (2018), pupil of participating school followed the 15‐week Mentoring Urban Talent Program. The control group consisted of 29 pupils, who did not follow the program.
Self‐efficacy, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation was measured by means of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ; Pintrich, et al., 1993). We also measured perceived social support (MSPSS; Pedersen et al., 2009; Zimet et al., 2012) as a potential moderator in the effects of the mentoring. We used between‐subjects Repeated Measures ANOVA to compare self‐efficacy and motivation between the experimental group (pupils who received mentoring) and the control group (pupils who did not receive mentoring). We controlled for age, gender, cultural background, and pupils’ perceived social support.
Results and Discussion: Data were gathered at three occasions, i.e., prior to mentoring, after mentoring, and at the end of the school year. Preliminary results showed interesting trends in self‐efficacy and motivation throughout the school year. Additionally, we are planning to investigate whether perceived home support has a facilitating or hindering effect on the mentoring. The results will shed more light on how to develop self‐efficacy and motivation of talented secondary school youth
Workshop: During the workshop, I will describe and discuss briefly the above‐mentioned research. Additionally, I would like to work with one of the exercises of the mentoring toolkit. This specific exercise (Roseval, 2018) appeared to be a key element in creating more in‐depth guidance in the mentoring. The idea is that I will give you some insight in the program and hopefully give you some tips on how to design mentoring programs for talented urban youth.
Pedersen, S.S., Spinder, H., Erdman, R.A., & Denollet, J. (2009). Poor perceived social support in implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) patients and their partners: Cross‐validation of the multidimensional scale of perceived social support. Psychosomatics, 50(5), 461‐467.
Pintrich P.R., Smith, D.A.F., Garcia, T., McKeachie, A.J. (1993). Reliability and predictive validity of the motivated strategies for learning questionnaire (MSLQ). Educational and Psychological Measurement, 53, 801‐813.
Rezai, S. (2017). The rise of the second generation: The role of social capital in the upward mobility of descendants of immigrants from Turkey and Morocco [doctoral dissertation]. Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Roseval, W. (2018). Netwerkopdracht [Network Assignment]. MUT Toolkit. Haagse Hogeschool, The Hague.
Zimet, G.D., Powell, S.S., & Farley, G.K. (2012). Multidimensional scale of perceived social support (MSPSS). In M. Sajatovic, & L.F. Ramirez (Eds.), Ratings Scales in Mental Health (pp. 211‐213). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.