An analysis of the function of mentors of Kentucky principals with implications for teaching the concept of mentoring

Robert Louis Lewis, Marquette University


Within the problem of how individuals are promoted in an organization, this study investigated the role of a mentor. The procedure used was to investigate the use and helpfulness of mentors in the career selection and development of Kentucky principals using an "Effects of Mentoring" questionnaire. Out of a total of 1166 EMQ's sent out, one to every elementary and secondary principal in Kentucky, 368 were returned. The study group was made up of men and women, elementary and secondary principals, some new to the profession and others with many years of experience. Questions on the EMQ investigated three aspects of educational administration: selection of career, career sponsorship and career development. Part one asked for the reason for deciding on a career as a principal and asked who helped respondents make the decision. Part two introduced the terms mentor and sponsorship, determined the extent of mentoring and identified the help of mentors. It also looked at cross gender mentoring and inquired about the possibility of a harmful relationship. Part three verified the importance of having a mentoring relation to career development and identified problems and obstacles. Results indicated that mentors provided encouragement, served as role models, gave moral support and guidance and helped at setting goals. Eighty six percent agreed that having a mentor helps a person beginning their career, and 58% had one or more mentors. Seventy nine percent warned about the possibility of a detrimental relationship. Those surveyed thought it was more important for success for a woman to have a mentor than for a man. Men were more likely to be concerned with cross gender mentoring. Sixty eight percent were satisfied with their careers responding that they would choose educational administration if they could begin again. Most became principals for more money, to change educational practices and out of a desire to lead. In conclusion, mentors provide valuable help at all stages of an educational administrator's career.

Recommended Citation

Lewis, Robert Louis, "An analysis of the function of mentors of Kentucky principals with implications for teaching the concept of mentoring" (1990). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9117352.