Argumentative Performance Task

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Argumentative Paper on Mentoring
Task:
In your English class, you have been discussing the pros and cons of whether schools should adopt a mentoring program. Your teacher has shared with you many results from studies that show both sides of the argument. The school board will decide at their next meeting if a mentoring program would be beneficial to students and the district. You have been given three sources to review. You will first read each source and answer questions based on the sources. Briefly scan the sources and questions. Then read them and answer questions. You may take notes to help you remember the major points. You may also use scratch paper for your notes. In the second part of your assignment, you will write an argumentative essay on a topic related to the sources. Directions for Beginning: Examine the sources and review as often as you like. Research questions: After reading and reviewing the sources, use the rest of the time in Part 1 to answer the questions about them. Your answers will be scored. The answers may also help you in writing your essay. You may click on the notes section or refer to your scratch paper as often as you like. They may also be used in both Part 1 and Part 2.
Source #1:
Summary of an article taken from:
http://www.insidehighered.com/advice
“Why mentoring students is so low on the faculty agenda…..?” By Russell Olwell, Associate Dean at Merrimack College. The article begins with a quote from past President Obama that states if someone becomes successful they had to have help from someone along the way. The author implies that even those who work in higher education had to have mentors to inspire them. The question is then posed as to why is the idea of mentoring put at the bottom of most faculties agendas? According to the article, professors take up too much of their time with scheduling, appointments, meetings, and planning. It is also noted that they do not feel comfortable talking to their students about anything other than the content of their classes. It is emphasized that students have opportunities for assistance in college application processes and scholarships through such organizations as Upward Bound and GEAR UP. However, it is merely hoped that they will have support from college professors once they enter higher education. There are pros and cons to mentoring as stated in the article. Some educators feel that the mentoring should be done by someone other than themselves. Counselors and the referral process to outside agencies is what most feel is the next step of support. Students benefit from mentoring by discussions regarding their interests outside of the class. By having a mentor, students can gain insights into experiences that will motivate them in their future endeavors including research projects, community action activities, and career placement opportunities. The connection between the teacher and the student gives credence that the teacher is interested in more than just the student sitting in class. The author notes that especially those students who are insecure at school will be impacted the most. This relates to students who have issues with their economic status, ethnicity, and home-life situations. Research notes that mentors who cross the economic and social barriers while mentoring can be of valuable influence on students. The author gives evidence from research done in the National Survey of Student Engagement
This research found that mentoring was best exhibited when students discussed future careers with educators, were assisted by faculty members in activities outside of the classroom, and then supported in their academic efforts. By doing so, term-1">long-term student success was obtained. Tips to improve mentoring were suggested. These tips included realizing that as teachers, they are already being mentors to an extent. Next, it was suggested that educators listen and respond to students without interrupting. If students open-up to their teacher, the teacher needs to listen attentively. Also, being there to keep students focused on their goals and their progress in achieving the goals is noted. Working on school-based projects was another tool the author recommended. To conclude, the article stated that mentoring was not the end-all for student success, but a necessary component for students to have a better educational experience.

Source #2:
Review of an article by Mentoring Impact:
The article is found on the website for mentoring. The focus of the site is to share information on the benefits of mentoring and increase mentoring programs. It is stated that students who have mentors can be ensured of knowing that someone cares about them. Research verifies that good mentoring relationships foster self-worth along with increasing social and economic opportunities. Unfortunately, one in three students are not given this chance. In this article, statistics are given regarding young adults who were at-risk but had mentors. These are as follows: “55% more likely to enroll in college 78% more likely to volunteer regularly 90% are interested in becoming a mentor 130% more likely to hold leadership positions” The article states that students are at-risk when their absenteeism is high. Mentoring lowers the rate of absences for students. (Public/Private Ventures study of Big Brothers Big Sisters). It also notes that behavior issues drop when students have a mentor. Another research noted that mentoring results in a better attitude towards school, as well. (The Role of Risk, 2013) When considering life outside of school, a survey was completed that found students with mentors are 46% less likely to become addicted to drugs and fewer of mentored students drink alcohol. More of the mentored students participated in extra-curricular activities, too. Even the rate of students suffering from depression dropped when they were partnered up with a mentor. Relationships with peers and the school community were shown to improve with mentoring in place. Regarding careers, the role of a mentor assists the student in developing goals and setting priorities for the future. Mentors aide students in choosing career paths and opportunities that will benefit the students’ life choices.

Source #3:
Mentoring: Pros and Cons for HRM Dr. Lisa Catherine Ehrich Professor Brian Hansford Queensland University of Technology Although many studies were done in the 1970’s to show the positive outcomes of mentoring, the researchers for this paper chose to investigate possible negative aspects, as well as highlight examples of the positive. The research cited was completed by the following experts in their field, (Kanter 1977), (Levinson, Darrow, Klein, Levison ad McKee 1978). On the positive side, the authors noted that the mentees could develop into adults through the process. The mentors provided counsel, guidance and support. The paper stated that they were, in fact, “father figures” to those they mentored. However, the paper states the benefits of mentoring are not easily discussed. This is due to the diversity of types of mentoring and mentoring training. Each situation presents itself differently. Not only are the types of mentoring not readily compared, but the training mentors receive is quite different. This leads to untrained mentors being placed in situations they might not be prepared, trained, or knowledgeable in. The focus of the paper appears to be revealing what the authors term as “The Darker Sides of Mentoring”. It is here that we find mentors can suffer from pain through broken trust, pain of leaving the mentee, and pain of failure/disappointment. (Research by Douglas 1997 and Long 1997). At times, there is no organization structure in the mentoring model that is being implemented. This can cause discourse, as well. Additional drawbacks that were cited include the following: the inability to coordinate the mentoring program with other programs already in existence, the difficulty in convincing administration that a mentoring program would be beneficial, and the potential cost of implementing such a program. The authors note that everyone needs to be aware of the pitfalls before beginning a full mentoring program.

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Word Lists:

Mentor : an experienced and trusted adviser

Ethnicity : the quality or fact of belonging to a population group or subgroup made up of people who share a common cultural background or descent

Referral : an act of referring someone or something for consultation, review, or further action.

Impacted : pressed firmly together.

Knowledgeable : intelligent and well informed

Argumentative : given to expressing divergent or opposite views

Con : persuade (someone) to do or believe something, typically by use of a deception

Pitfall : a hidden or unsuspected danger or difficulty.

Credence : belief in or acceptance of something as true

Agenda : a list of items to be discussed at a formal meeting

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Additional Information:

Rating: C

Words: 1322

Unique Words : 507

Sentences : 79

Reading Time : 5:52

Noun : 426

Conjunction : 112

Adverb : 75

Interjection : 0

Adjective : 71

Pronoun : 64

Verb : 264

Preposition : 182

Letter Count : 6,762

Sentiment : Positive

Tone : Formal

Difficult Words : 318

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