Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Child and Family Studies

Major Professor

Lori Caudle

Committee Members

Misawa Mitsunori, Samara Akpovo


The relationship between social and cultural identities and experiences and how we interpret encounters is vital when looking at mentorship. Early childhood education values the combination of classroom education and field experience for pre-service educators. The ability to be a successful mentor relies on one's ability to reflect on their identity, beliefs, practices, values, and skills. This study sought to explore early childhood mentors' views of their social and cultural identities in relation to their experiences with mentorship by engaging with mentors (n=4) in an interview and through reflective journaling about their experiences. Interviews and journals were transcribed and inductively coded using an open coding approach. During interview and journaling, mentors reflected on their social and cultural identity and the impact it had on their role as mentors and focused on how they are intentional when building relationships, providing feedback and support to mentees. Results highlighted that mentors viewed their identity in relation to their experiences as mentors as a mechanism that influenced their approach to mentorship in such a way that it made building relationships and communicating approachable and made them value vulnerability and trust. Findings also illustrated how mentors engage in reflective practice as part of their professional development and growth. Mentors’ identity reflection and finding ways to form relationships with mentors in consideration of who they are and the influence their identities and experiences they hold might have on a relationship.

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