From mentoring to monitoring: the impact of changing work environments on academics in Australian universities

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Journal Article
Journal of Further and Higher Education, 2008, 32 (3), pp. 241 - 250
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Universities in many western nations are experiencing increasing performance measures for academic accountability. This paper maps the pitted pathway that has led Australian universities from mentoring to monitoring and from performance enhancement to performance evaluation, and reviews implications for teaching and learning in higher education. We explore understandings of good mentoring and its effects and examine the social and political climate out of which quality assurance processes have arisen, to articulate the aims and philosophies underpinning these approaches. Drawing on the published literature, we critique processes that have as their main goals monitoring rather than mentoring, and performance evaluation rather than performance enhancement. From our perspectives as teachers in higher education in Australia we raise issues for consideration, including the tensions between practice and promise and the roles of mentors and monitors in promoting growth or compliance. We discuss criteria and models for evaluating mentoring and monitoring.
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