Friday, October 10, 2008

Mentoring mythology

The origin of mentoring is in Greek mythology. In The Illiad, Mentor acted as advisor for Odysseus’s son, Telemechus. While Odysseus was fighting in the Trojan War (and during his voyage home) Mentor assisted Telemachus in taking on his father’s responsibilities in the household. After the popularity of François Fénelon’s Les Aventures de Telemaque in the 18th century (which had Mentor as its chief protagonist), mentoring entered common usage as a relationship where an older, wiser and more experienced mentor guides and advises a less experienced protégé or mentee.

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