Experimenting with dialogic mentoring: a new model

Lindy Nahmad-Williams, Carol A. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (SciVal)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore mentoring as a dialogic practice in relation to three themes: identity, fear of being judged and respect. It develops Bokenko and Gantt’s (2000) concept of dialogic mentoring to propose a new theorisation of mentoring as a relational, embodied, spatial, affective and ethical practice. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reports on a mentoring project that took place in a UK University which was seeking to enhance its research culture. This project used an innovative methodological approach in which mentor and mentee wrote and shared diary entries as means of building more effective and constructive mentoring experiences, and as a vehicle for reflexively analysing the mentoring process. Findings – The project outcomes were: first, a deepened appreciation and reflexive evaluation of the role played by diaries and writing in the enactment of dialogic mentoring; second, the development of a theoretical framework to enhance understanding of dialogic mentoring and third, the generation of a dialogic mentoring model encompassing multiple dimensions of the process. Practical implications – The paper provides insights to support methodological innovation in mentoring practice; it links mentoring practice with theory development to enhance mentor and mentee collaboration and reflexivity; it offers an example of good mentoring practice that could be scaled up within educational institutions wishing to enhance their research culture. Originality/value – The paper offers, first, a reflexive account of a methodologically innovative mentoring practice to enhance mentoring; and second, it proposes a new theorisation and model of dialogic mentoring practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-199
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2015


  • Dialogue
  • Ethical
  • Higher education
  • Mentoring
  • Reflexive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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