A Change in Interpersonal Relational Capital: Through mentoring relationships and homework activities in a university setting


    Ann-Louise Ljungblad , Girma Berhanu
Published : 2021-07-14


This article presents an innovative project revolving around student participation in homework activities. The theoretical framework is relational pedagogy with a focus on student-mentor relationships in a university setting. The authors used semi-structured interviews combined with observations of the interactions between the participants. The findings are analysed at a micro- and meso-level, based on an interpersonal relational perspective on teaching, Pedagogical Relational Teachership (PeRT). The popular claim that homework time is positively related to scholastic achievements gains was observed. The findings from this study add to the general knowledge of how participants perceive their school activities and future careers. Furthermore, relational values like connecting, belonging, trusting, including and confidence-building emerged between students and mentors over time. The examination of the mentor-student relationships highlights how a new interpersonal relational capital launched a movement with a possible change in social position, in terms of entering future university studies. The article discusses the results at a societal level in relation to equity and young people’s possibilities of participating in future university studies. Since the study shows the positive aspects of ‘enriching’ activities supporting immigrant youth in homework activities at university facilities, we encourage other institutions of higher education to open up their premises for similar projects, in order to improve engagement, raise achievement levels and enhance inclusiveness in the larger social fabric.


homework; mentor-student relationship; trust; interpersonal relational capital; equity; inclusion


IJSE Vol 35, No: 1, 2020

Volume 35, Number: 1, Year 2020 of International Journal of Special Education