Task D1 This phase has begun to set out the foundational areas of enquiry for the module. You have looked at models of coaching and mentoring, central policy documents, critical frameworks and supporting academic literature. The final important area for consideration in this phase is ethics and ethical conduct.
As education professionals the requirement to act ethically is central to practice, whether that is in exchanges with colleagues or students and pupils. In practice decisions and interactions are based on values which come from both cultural and professional contexts. These values along with considerations of ethical conduct (the basis of which is to do no harm) in conjunction with policy and professional standards, form the context in which professional learning can take place. When using coaching and mentoring to support the professional growth of others you need to consider both the ethical issues that arise as well as the process of negotiation that takes place.
Read: Chapter 10 ‘What is effective coaching and mentoring’ from: Connor, M. and Pokora, J. (2012) Coaching and Mentoring at Work: Developing Effective Practice (2nd ed). Maidenhead: Open University Press
Figure 10.1 shows that each of these aspects interlock and all may contribute to making a sound ethical decision.
And: Moberg, D.J. and Velasquez, M. (2004). The Ethics of mentoring Business Ethics Quarterly, 14 (1), pp. 95-122.
- the impossibility of being a direct supervisor and an ethical mentor of the same person.
- some mentoring arrangements are more morally burdensome for mentors than others
- mentors and protégés alike should be familiarised with the ethical obligations built into these roles
Moberg and Velasquez (2004) suggest that the role of mentoring carries with it seven obligations:
1. beneficence; the obligation to be diligent in providing the goods of the mentoring relationship: knowledge, wisdom and developmental support.
2. non-maleficence; binds mentors to avoid exercising their role in a manner that might harm the protégé.
3. autonomy; behaving in a way that enables rather than hinders the protégés ability to exercise his or her own judgement and reasoning.
4. confidentiality; derives from the protégés right to privacy.
5. fairness; mentors attempt to be fair not only to their protégés but to others who might otherwise be excluded or impacted by the mentoring process.
6. loyalty; the avoidance of any conflict of interest
7. concern; the obligation to exercise a caring but fair partiality toward protégés and their interests.
Having read the article and the chapter reflect upon the ethical implications for you as you devise an intervention and plan to coach or mentor a colleague. Answer the following questions in your journal:
1. How might you negotiate the seven obligations (Moberg and Velasquez, 2004) of your practice with those you are supporting?
My biggest challenge is that, as HT, all my colleagues are my personnel – that it I line manage them. This goes directly against the implication of the impossibility of being a direct supervisor and an ethical mentor of the same person. My thinking in this regard is that I don’t want to support an individual so much as foster a culture of coaching.
2. What implications for equity and equality might the ethical considerations highlighted in these readings bring about?
The imbalance in benefit for mentor (less) and protégé (more).
The possible abuse of the relationship.
Issues of diversity (Connor paper)
3. What impacts could the policy documents highlighted in activity B have on the ethical implementation of a coaching/mentoring relationship?
The policy doesn’t go deep enough in to the practical implications of c-m and so, doesn’t reflect the inherent ethical issues or complexities.
The policy is quite ‘rose tinted’ and doesn’t really explore the necessary understanding of what is required of the successful mentor-protégé relationship.
4. How do these obligations compare with your values as an educator?
They align closely. My values are based within relationship. The coaching – mentoring model fits my value set.
Bring your written comments to the above questions to seminar 1 where they will form the basis of our discussions throughout the day.