Mentorship Literacy: How an Alternative Literacy Is Developed and Used to Build the Mentor-Mentee Relationship between Teacher and Student in the Middle and High School Years




Groves, Sonya

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This study looks at how a mentorship relationship between myself and thirteen graduates of an all-girls public academy developed over the course of six years. The study looked at how gender and race affected this mentorship, and finally, it looked at what alternative literacies were developed to help create and maintain this mentorship. The study was conducted as an autoethnography. I utilized Gloría Anzaldúa’s autohistoria-teoría to help guide how the autoethnography was written. Thirteen young adult women of color (9 Latinas, 2 African-American, and 2 Filipina) were interviewed separately. These interviews were semi-structured and each woman was interviewed three times. The question set was developed using Annette Kuhn’s (2007) memory method. This memory method is three lenses with the first lens asking about the self, the second progressing to the immediate participants, and culminating in the global perspective. The results of these interviews were coded by hand or with Nvivo looking for larger themes. These themes were Learning, Love, and Life. Specific concepts were attributed to each theme and discussed. For each major theme the concepts were the following – Learning: Non-traditional/Alternative Curriculum, Feminist Curriculum, Expectation and Engagement; Love: Student Welfare, Family, and Student (Self)Advocacy; Life: Race, Gender, Initium Vitae. The results indicate that there were alternative literacies created and implemented during the six years and that race, gender, and class were issues that impacted the mentorship relationship.


The author has granted permission for their work to be available to the general public.


alternative literacies, critical white studies, high school, mentoship, middle school, same sex education



Bicultural-Bilingual Studies