Cross-cultural and inter-cultural mentorship in academe: American Indian culturally grounded constructs applied in social work education
AbstractAn American Indian mentor and four student mentees voice their experiences in the mentor-mentee relationship. Two American Indian cultural constructs are utilized within the academic mentor-mentee relationship with four students. The first construct is learning from an individual who is considered an elder and mentor in the context of American Indian culture. Elders are viewed as teachers, guides, counselors, and supporters of mentees. One example of this construct is the American Indian cultural teaching that emphasizes that the selection of a mentee with potential to learn to accomplish a task is more important than the selection of a mentee who has already mastered the task. This construct allows the mentee to experiment and learn by doing, which can be more demanding of the mentor's time. The second construct is the traditional American Indian worldview of everyone having skills and abilities to share. Therefore, all are able to learn from one another. This construct facilitated opportunities for all four students to learn from each other's cross-cultural and inter-cultural differences between tribal life and the mainstream dominant culture.
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NARRATIVES OF PROFESSIONAL HELPING
Cleveland State University
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