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Mentoring: Our Academic Family Tree

Mentoring: Our Academic Family Tree

February 22, 2018

Dear WinkWorld Readers,

Forgive all of my back-to-back burst of blog posts.  You can probably tell that I am getting ready for 3 back-to-back trips, and I will need some of this information to use with my colleagues.  If it is all on WinkWorld, I won’t have to do so much digging around in my computer when I get where I am going. 

Two of my friends (Dr. Le Putney & Dr. Chyllis Scott) from UNLV and I will continue our exploration of mentoring from a Vygotskian perspective.  We have published and presented on it numerous times.  

~Original image from, free. Edited and adapted by Thank you, Susan.

Here is a journal article in which several of us connected teaching with mentoring.

Teaching as Mentoring

We will use the following image of a tree as a metaphor of how mentoring grows larger and deeper with each student (mentee), who will eventually go on to mentor others. 

(, free image)

Often in my teaching, I have used the metaphor of a tree to help students reflect  on their own learning.  The following two images were created by Areli Dohner Chavez, and used to reflect on her own learning & teaching (pedagogy).  Thank you, Areli.

First, Areli drew this tree.

Next, she reflected on what she knew and where her knowledge originated.  Areli is one of the branches on my academic tree, and I am confident that she now has mentored many students, and has her own academic family tree filled with mentors and mentees.


I suspect that when we are finished with our sharing at UNLV,  Le, Chyl, and I will have a new tree which captures our academic genealogy.

Tip of the hate to Lindsay Vonn, the Olympic skier: Am I the only person to notice that she is also a fabulous mentor to many other skiers (mentees)?

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