Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education

First Advisor

Susan Korach, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Kent Seidel

Third Advisor

Kristina Hesbol


Leadership development, Mentoring, Principal preparation, Professional practice


Mentoring has the potential to be a powerful tool to help prepare future school leaders in the context of leading a school. The purpose of this study was to identify perspectives and practices employed in mentoring relationships within a principal preparation program. Through interviews, observations, and the analysis of artifacts, this study identified how these mentors supported their protégés in the development of theoretical understanding, technical skills, and reflective practice.

This study took a multiple case study approach to analyze data about leadership mentoring obtained within three-cases of a mentor and the mentoring relationship with his or her protégé. Each case included a mentor, a current protégé, and one former protégé who had transitioned to a school leadership role.

This study addressed the following research question: What are the perspectives and practices of principals who mentor aspiring leaders and what do the aspiring leaders identify as effective mentor practice?

Cross-case analysis of interview, observation, and artifact data identified five mentoring practices that were consistently implemented by the mentors and recognized by protégés as being meaningful in leadership development:

° Developing trust

° Encouraging collective learning

° Engaging in real work

° Modeling and encouraging reflection

° Providing frequent and informal feedback

In addition to identifying five consistent mentoring practices among the three cases, this study ascertained that each mentor demonstrated a personalized version of mentoring through their individual conceptualization of their role and work. For these mentor principals, mentoring was more than a collection of practices. These practices were tied together by the mentors‟ intentionality and focus on this identified essential component of mentoring. One mentor emphasized the connection of theory, practice, and values; the second mentor built her practice around the proximity with her protégés; and the final mentor established the importance of his protégés being able to take risks during their internship. The results of this study indicate that there are best practices for mentoring leaders. The mentor practices that emerge from this study indicate that mentoring aspiring leaders is a professional practice that consists of theoretical, practical, and moral dimensions.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Dana Sue Williams


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

193 p.


Educational leadership