Last week, I posted Another Study Finds That Student Mentors Giving Advice Helps THEM Do Better, which described an interesting study that was a also a little weird – the “mentors” didn’t actually mentor anyone. Instead, they basically wrote a letter to an imaginary student who needed advice and did a few other things for a total of eight minutes.
It did reflect previous real-life studies, though.
I wondered if similar results could be found at our school where students actually did mentor others for a full year.
This past school year, students from my IB Theory of Knowledge classes mentored two groups of students – those in my Long-Term English Language Learner Support class, and others in a ninth-grade Math class.
We tracked the impact they had on students in my ELL class (it was positive – read more about that in an upcoming ASCD Educational Leadership article) and, thanks to my valued colleagues Katherine Bell and Brent Jones, it was easy to go back and compare the first and second semester GPA’s of the TOK students in my class who were mentors with those who chose not to do it.
It’s obviously not a rigorous examination – we used averages (high or low outliers can skew those numbers) and the numbers were not equal – there were thirty-three students who chose to be mentors and only twenty-five who were not.
Nevertheless, it was interesting to see that the grades of the non-mentors went down, while those of the mentors went up.
It’s not a huge difference, but it is interesting:
I’m adding this post to The Best Resources On The Value & Practice Of Having Older Students Mentoring Younger Ones .