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Breaking the Circle of One

Redefining Mentorship in the Lives and Writings of Educators


Carol A. Mullen, Maggie D. Cox, Cindy K. Boettcher and Diane S. Adoue

Breaking the Circle of One offers lively, personal accounts of graduate students’ and professors’ experiences of mentorship within universities and schools. This self-study writing group formed in an effort to provide and receive support. The circle of one the group signifies remained open to others and became integrated within multiple communities and represents the experience of isolation, competition, and abandonment faced by many in education. The chapters, diverse in their stories and points of view, redefine mentoring relationships and structures. Contributors engage their circular model of education as a framework for analysis. They also view their model as representative of a process throughout life that brings mentors and mentees close together at times, and further away at other times. This book is organized around four themes: the actual teaching of preservice student teachers; the use of innovative approaches to mentoring within established university systems; the interpersonal design of school-university partnership programs; and the search for new patterns of mentoring within teacher education.