'Viewing Each Other in a Different Way': Ambiguous Identities and Productive Potential in a Student Peer Mentor Scheme

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Fostering a sense of identification with, and belonging to, the learning community (Thomas, 2012), together with promoting positive mental well-being, is seen as crucial in shaping successful educational experiences (Houghton & Anderson, 2017, p.10). This presentation considers how the collaborative development, and implementation, of a peer mentor scheme contributed to both an expansion, and a diversification, of our undergraduate social science support networks. Using a case study approach we consider how the ambiguous role of the student ‘mentor’ challenges orthodox understandings of the boundaries between student and lecturer identities, offering distinct affordances in relation to student integration, support and promoting positive mental well-being (Houghton & Anderson, 2017, p.21; Student Minds, 2014b). We draw on personal experience and initial research to explore how reinvigorated understandings of identity boundaries have helped to foster more collaborative and student-focused practices, and break down traditional delineation between the activities of teaching, research and pastoral support. We also consider some of the challenges that can arise from blurring conventional identity boundaries within the broader context of power, responsibility and agency.
Period3 Jul 2018
Event titleBorders and Boundaries: Debating the Limits and Possibilities of Education
Event typeConference
LocationLancaster, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational