Mentoring Handbook/Part I
Why mentoring can be fun 
Mentoring can be fun because you take a responsible position that can command respect of younger pupils, peers and adults. Working in a responsible position in a team is also often associated with job satisfaction in working life.
Enjoyment can also come from creating enjoyable entertainment or education for others and from participating in the resulting experience.
For the skeptic 
Why mentoring? What's in it for me? 
It is difficult to aim to instill learning motivation and self motivation in others without reflecting on your own learning motivation and self motivation. A pupil in the role of a pedagogically trained mentor should consequently experience an increase in his or her own learning motivation and self motivation as a direct result.
Likewise it is difficult to help others to act according to higher-order volitions without reflecting on your own higher-order volitions.
Whatever a mentor does for his or her protégés is likely to increase the understanding and the horizon of the mentor in return, especially when the mentor is still a teenager himself - or herself.
A mentor finds him - or herself in a responsible position (with potential consequences for his or her own school career) and in an area of conflicting interests between protégés, parents, teachers and tutors. This situation could be seen as valuable training for social skills and especially for diplomatic skills. The role of a pedagogue should also be beneficial for a mentor to develop an extensive active mental vocabulary for metacognition and adequate social goals towards his or her protégés.
Last but not least it is difficult to help others to find and to organize sensible leisure time activities without expanding your own horizon in this area, which can also be fun.
Why do I need higher-order volitions and metacognition? 
The human brain is quite good at repeating previous behaviors that have proven to be successful and it is capable to create (random) stimuli that surface as the desire to do something, usually to repeat an action that has previously proven to be successful. The higher brain functions are not necessarily involved or are not involved to a degree that creates an intellectual challenge. Consciousness and emotions occur primarily when the telencephalon is presented with problems it has not yet an established solution for. In that case the cerebral cortex builds new neuronal networks under the guidance of the limbic system and on the basis of past experiences. Consequently what you might want to sustain and to expand your intellect is intellectual stimulus and training for introspection.
Higher-order volitions allow you to follow goals that are not primarily influenced by external stimuli or lower-order volitions with a strong tendency towards repetitive actions. Metacognition allows you to analyze your own (or somebody else's) thinking and to make informed assumptions about the factors that influence it. One could argue that both are necessary to give the human brain a degree of self-control it does not otherwise possess but which it is commonly assumed to possess. One could also see both as necessary to establish free will.
Following the categorical imperative it seems only reasonable that you might want to provide what you would like to receive. Following the categorical imperative you would probably also not wish for a society in which people had not established their higher-order volitions and learned to apply a sufficient degree of metacognition, consequently mentoring would become a moral obligation and recruiting protégés as future mentors could also be seen as a moral obligation (in the best interest of the protégés).
What's an active mental vocabulary? You made that term up. 
Many papers and proofs begin with a definition of terms; making a term up does not by itself discredit the term. In this case the meaning is pretty generic. The difference between an active vocabulary and a passive vocabulary is the difference between being able to phrase something and being able to understand the phrase when it is used. Words that do not suggest themselves are not part of your active vocabulary but they do belong to your passive vocabulary if you can deduce the meaning. The brain contains a vast amount of associations that may appear as the vocabulary in which you can be addressed. Parts of that vocabulary are more active and other parts are less active, meaning they do not suggest themselves as easily. Inert knowledge could also be seen as a less active part of one's mental vocabulary.
To train your active mental vocabulary you could decide on a higher-order volition to prefer certain behaviors over others and to view each successful application of that higher-order volition as a success. Behaviors that train quite desirable aspects of your mental vocabulary are mentoring and teaching.
Computer games and, to a lesser degree, other media can create an overabundance of perceptions of success. Consequently another higher-order volition could be to limit artificially created success situations in order to avoid a slippery slope towards addiction (as a worst case) and to preserve more of a sense of achievement for goals chosen by higher-order volitions.
Of course children should be given the opportunity to experience success in learning situations and to derive motivation from it, but at some age a protégé may need encouragement to occasionally prefer intellectual motivation over pleasure. The emphasis is on occasionally, because an intermediate position may be desirable; to generally prefer intellectual motivation could, for instance, lead to lack of socializing.
Protégés may be old enough to analyze their own motivations and to give precedence to intellectual motivation where appropriate. The ability develops gradually and not at a certain age at once. How can you measure the ability of a protégé to analyze his or her own motivation properly and to prefer intellectual motivation?
What mental vocabulary do I need when I know my higher-order volitions? 
Where does the idea to consider higher-order volitions originate? You can only follow higher-order volitions when your active mental vocabulary suggests to analyze how a lower-order volition relates to higher-order volitions and to do that you again rely, to a degree, on random associations, not on a strict algorithm.
In more day-to-day words: Reminding yourself to reconsider your higher-order volitions may require training like any other skill. The skill is trained when you help others to reconsider their goals and volitions and to plan how to reach their goals. This could be seen as better training because the task to help somebody else tends to be intellectually more challenging than reflecting on your own goals and volitions. One could also see this as over-training a crucial skill for your own benefit. It also isn't uncommon that the teacher learns something about what he teaches, which is metacognition in this case.
The ability to work with people also requires training and to educate other people is among the best training you can aim for. The ability to work with people is often circumscribed with soft skills and is, under that heading, a qualification for working life.
Mentoring and teaching share the qualities of being benevolent by design, of providing and embracing intellectual challenges and are both social by design. In contrast a mental vocabulary can also reject intellectual challenges if it makes little use of analysis, anticipation and imagination, an attitude which passive TV consumption may promote.
Complexity of thought in teaching 
The complexity of thought, notwithstanding subject matter, rises in four steps:
- teach to learn
- teach to teach
The last step is more complex because once you have taught to learn you will probably want to teach how to teach somebody to learn (teach to "teach to learn"). This involves at least three persons (senior teacher, student teacher, pupil) and the senior teacher has to form an understanding about the metacognition of the student teacher and bring it into relation to his own view of the understanding of the pupil.
Consequently it may seem desirable to allow as many qualified people as possible to teach to teach. This is the case for a teacher, who has to educate assistant teachers, and for an instructor, who has to educate mentors, as for instance in the Wikiversity assistant teacher program.
According to a German study eighth grade. A responsible role can aid to complement enjoyment with a purpose, which is a further argument for motivating pupils to become assistant teachers in the eighth grade.pupils' enthusiasm for school may decrease towards the
Formal and mandatory vs. informal and voluntary mentoring 
If school-based mandatory cross-age mentoring is seen as much more effective because the preparation for the role of a mentor and the role itself may promote desirable skills and attitudes of teenagers and may be most beneficial for teenagers unlikely to volunteer isn't then the promotion of less formal and voluntary cross-age mentoring concepts possibly counterproductive? If so, could a moral obligation to invite other teenagers (not just volunteers) to be mentors result from the creation of voluntary cross-age mentoring concepts?
There is a gap of about ten years between striving for autonomy and fitness for autonomy. Young teenagers are occasionally more convinced of their own skills than would be appropriate and may lack the ability to determine sensible borders for an activity. Parents are by custom the primary and sometimes only noteworthy custodians. At the same time many parents are unavailable for a significant time of the day or are insufficiently qualified to be educators.
For a protégé an assigned mentor can fill a gap, where a natural mentor may be missing. For the protégé the psychological effect of a mentorship can be either an increase in autonomy or a dependence on the mentor, which could repress autonomy (a possible but not a generally advisable outcome). Even in the less beneficial case of increased dependence on another person the mentor should prepare the protégé to become a mentor, which is very likely to counter the effect when the protégé becomes a mentor.
The role of a mentor has the psychological effect of allowing the mentor to assume a more mature role and to receive the respect of others for filling that role at an age when that acceptance may have more than one beneficial effect for the teenager. The more relevant effects can be motivation for self-motivation and self-esteem in a beneficial role.
Constructivism is a set of assumptions about the nature of human learning that guide constructivist learning theories and teaching methods of education. Constructivism values developmentally appropriate facilitator-supported learning that is initiated and directed by the learner.
Becoming a mentor 
You should probably be at least 15 years old and have some prior experience in taking care of younger teenagers or children.
Training for mentors 
No matter if your organization has formal requirements for becoming a mentor or not you may be able to deliver a better service if you make a thorough self-assessment. What skills and what knowledge do you have? How much pedagogy do you know? How much psychology do you know? Do you have the necessary soft skills? What would you recommend others to learn and have you learned what you would ask from others yourself?
Problems, ideas and concepts 
Informal vs. formal mentoring 
No matter what degree of planning your organization has and what amount of personal preparation a mentor has achieved, as long as you haven't got any further qualification the best view is probably to see your work as informal mentoring, even if you have some formal elements, as, for example, a questionnaire. To make the step to formal mentoring your organization should be member of a qualified umbrella group that helps to define your standards, your organization should be able to provide access to literature about mentoring and the individual mentors should strive for a formal qualification.
Sometimes it may be tempting to assign mentors inside a family just out of convenience. Why shouldn't older siblings be mentors? A good reason to avoid this is that relationships inside a family tend to be very informal and may follow acquired social behavior that may not be in line with the goals of a mentoring organization. Another reason is that possible problems may be hidden by implicit expectations about what are internal affairs of the family, which can also diminish the value of a formal mentorship. Under perfect conditions older siblings and parents may act as natural, informal mentors anyway and assigning a formal mentorship to an older sibling would change very little. The point is that in any case a formal mentor assigned by a mentoring organization probably should not be a relative.
Natural mentors 
The Handbook of Youth Mentoring defines natural mentors as "nonparental adults, such as extended family members, teachers, or neighbors, from whom a young person receives support and guidance as a result of a relationship developed without the help of a program specifically designed to connect youth and adults to form such a relationship (i.e., program mentors)." In the context of this book the term natural mentors will be used to include everybody (including parents and teenagers) who engage in activities that provide long-term support and guidance in a way that respects a teenager's interests (while putting them in relation to the view of an impartial observer) but do so outside a formal mentoring program.
While an assigned mentor should not be a person that may be likely to be a natural mentor an assigned mentor could increase the motivation of natural mentors in the social environment of a protégé. There may be a small risk that natural mentors may become less active in the presence of an assigned mentor but that doesn't appear to be a significant problem, as the assigned mentor has a very limited amount of time and a natural mentor has no real reason to withdraw from the protégé outside the time spent with the assigned mentor. The assigned mentor probably should pay attention not to accidentally undermine the authority of any natural mentors.
An assigned mentor might want to understand what natural mentors or potential natural mentors are available in the social environment of a protégé. (See also: Questionnaire). The mentor could try to cooperate with natural mentors and try to motivate potential natural mentors to take an interest in the education and upbringing of the protégé. Parent education programs and courses or literature on mentoring can help to increase the understanding and motivation of potential natural mentors. A natural mentor willing to cooperate could also be invited to join the mentoring organization as an active mentor or as an associate member and be given access to the organization's library and means of communication.
Cross-age peer mentoring 
The Handbook of Youth Mentoring provides the following definition of cross-age peer mentoring: "Peer mentoring involves an interpersonal relationship between two youth of different ages that reflects a greater degree of hierarchical power imbalance than is typical of a friendship and in which the goal is for the older youth to promote one or more aspects of the younger youth's development. Peer mentoring refers to a sustained (long-term), usually formalized (i.e. program-based), developmental relationship. The relationship is "developmental" in that the older peer's goal is to help guide the younger mentee's development in domains such as interpersonal skills, self-esteem and conventional connectedness and attitudes (e.g. future motivation, hopefulness)."