Identity development and mentoring in doctoral education

Leigh A. Hall, Leslie D. Burns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations


In this essay, Leigh Hall and Leslie Burns use theories of identity to understand mentoring relationships between faculty members and doctoral students who are being prepared as educational researchers. They suggest that becoming a professional researcher requires students to negotiate new identities and reconceptualize themselves both as people and professionals in addition to learning specific skills; however, the success or marginalization that students experience may depend on the extent to which they attempt to enact identities that are valued by their mentors. For this reason, Hall and Burns argue that faculty mentors must learn about and consider identity formation in order to successfully socialize more diverse groups of researchers, and they believe that formal curriculum designs can be used more intentionally to help students and faculty understand the roles identity plays in professional development and to make doctoral education more equitable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-70
Number of pages22
JournalHarvard Educational Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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