Mentoring at university: the project “Mentors for teaching” at Palermo University


  • Ettore Felisatti Università di Padova


The qualification of faculty teaching competences in higher education is nowadays an important aim pursued by academic institutions in order to innovate teaching and learning (Sursock, 2015; Gaebel & Zhang, 2018; QUARC_Docente, 2017). The research in the field suggests adopting within staff development programs methodologies that foster active involvement, mutual exchange, sharing of values ​​and practices, following a faculty learning community approach (Cox, 2004).

In this context, mentoring represents a crucial experience to improve the faculty professional action in teaching as well as the organizational socialization (Underhill, 2006; Johnson, 2015).

Mentoring is based on interventions to guide and support the improvement in teaching and learning (Sorcinelli & Yun, 2015), but the literature offers several models with specific organizational and relational approaches.

The project "Mentors for teaching" carried out at Palermo University adopts a peer mentoring approach as mutual support between mentors and mentees. The project is framed in a community that investigates, reflects and creates strategies towards continuous development.

Keywords: Faculty development, mentoring, peer mentoring, teaching innovation.