Authentic Learning Category 5

Here is a collection of articles written on the EdVisions model and network schools.

Authentic Learning articles

*All articles are available upon request by emailing

Category 5: Mentoring available to all students (peer to peer or adult to youth).

Adams, C. (2013). Internship pairs detroit students with gm retireesEducation Week32(37), The article provides information on GM (General Motors) Student Corps, an internship program in which students from high schools in Detroit, Michigan work with retirees from automobile manufacturer GM. Aspects of the program include community service, life-skills education, and mentoring. Comments from Mike DiGiovanni, director of the Student Corps, are included.

Adams, C. T., & Hemingway, C. A. (2014). What does online mentorship of secondary science students look likeBioscience64(11), 1042.

Mentorship by scientists can enrich learning opportunities for secondary science students, but how scientists perform these roles is poorly documented. We examine a partnership in which plant scientists served as online mentors to teams conducting plant investigations. In our content analysis of 170 conversations, the mentors employed an array of scaffolding techniques (encouraging; helping clarify goals, ideas, and procedures; and supporting reflection), with social discourse centrally embedded and fundamental to the mentoring relationship. The interplay of techniques illustrates that scientist mentors harmonize multiple dimensions of learning and model the integration of science content and practice. The mentors fulfilled self-identified motivation to promote their students’ interest and to enculturate students to the science community through online discourse. The patterns of this discourse varied with the mentors’ gender, career stage, and team–mentor engagement. These findings address research gaps about the roles, functions, and conceptions of scientists as online mentors; they can be used to guide program facilitation and new research directions.

Coyne-Foresi, M. (2015). Wiz Kidz: Fostering school connectedness through an in-school student mentoring programProfessional School Counseling19(1), 68.

This study explores a student mentoring program called the Wiz Kidz, located within a Canadian urban elementary school of 420 students. The Wiz Kidz participants, their teachers and parents, and a student comparison group provided data on student connectedness to school, peers, and teachers. Overall findings suggest the students involved in the Wiz Kidz program enjoyed participating and reported increases in connectedness at the end of the year, with statistical significance observed for mentors' connectedness to school.

Gewertz, C. (2017). Peers help 9th graders survive critical yearEducation Week37(11), 1.

The article discusses the Link Crew mentoring program for freshmen-year students that focuses on tutoring and advising by junior and senior-year students at Summit High School in Fontana, California. Emphasis is given to topics such as peer relationships in adolescence, bonding between teenagers, and efforts to reduce academic failure rates among freshmen.

Hebert, L. (2013). Operation GraduationEducational Leadership71(1), 57.

The article discusses the Operation Graduation program implemented in the 2011-2012 school year at the Lloyd C. Bird High School in Chesterfield County, Virginia, and its use of community support and graduation coaches to help students graduate. Topics include teacher-student relationships, the participation of parents of students who were in jeopardy of not graduating, and teacher mentoring as part of the program to help at-risk students fulfill graduation requirements.

Johnson, V., Simon, P., & Mun, E-Y.  (2014).  A peer-led high school transition program increases graduation rates among latino malesJournal of Educational Research, 107(3), 186.

The authors investigated the impact of a manualized high school transition program, the Peer Group Connection (PGC) program, on the graduation rate at a low-income, Mid-Atlantic high school. The program utilized 12th-grade student peer leaders to create a supportive environment for incoming ninth-grade students. Results of a randomized control trial demonstrated that male students who participated in the program during Grade 9 were significantly more likely to graduate from high school within 4 years than male students in the control group (81% vs. 63%). Findings suggest that peers can be effective in delivering a school-based, social emotional learning intervention and that it is possible to intervene in Grade 9 to influence the probability of high school graduation.

Karcher, M. (2009). Increases in academic connectedness and self-esteem among high school students who serve as cross-age peer mentorsProfessional School Counseling12(4), 292.

Cross-age mentoring programs are peer helping programs in which high school students serve as mentors to younger children. The study in this article compared fall-to-spring changes on connectedness, attachment, and self-esteem between 46 teen mentors and 45 comparison classmates. Results revealed an association between serving as a cross-age peer mentor and improvements on academic self-esteem and connectedness. The American School Counselor Association regards coordinating a peer helping program as an appropriate activity for school counselors; this study supports this position.

Sterrett, W. L. (2012). From discipline to relationshipsEducational Leadership70(2), 71.

The article discusses the role of school leaders in facilitating effective teacher-student relationships in order to reduce instances of school discipline. The author looks at the importance of a coherent school environment that facilitates positive communication between administrators, teachers, and students, while including parents. Topics include the creation of classroom environments that encourage students learning about their peers, as well as the use of mentoring and role models to create a supportive school environment.