Book Club

Book Club starting in 2020!

European Center launches a new activity: a book club.
Every month, a book or publication is discussed with the author and participants, to exchange different perspectives and to gain inspiration. We choose books that highlight social trends in Europe and in the world and how they effect mentoring.
The book club events are interactive online sessions with the author (if possible) and people who have read the book or parts of the book that are selected for the event.

Do you have a suggestion for a book in English to read? Let us now and nominate a book for the upcoming sessions.

First edition of the Book club: Older and Wiser, by prof. dr. Jean Rhodes, in September, date follows.


Older and Wiser, by prof. dr. Jean Rhodes

In July 2020, the book Older and Wiser: New ideas for youth mentoring in the 21st century, by prof. dr. Jean Rhodes, will be published. The book will be discussed in the first session of the Book Club in September!

This book is a synthesis and analysis of the research on youth mentoring, a topic to which I have devoted more than half my life. Indeed, I have been chipping away at researching the mentoring field for nearly thirty years and, like a compulsive gold miner, just cant seem to stop. Believe me, Ive tried. But inevitably, other topics lose their appeal and I find myself returning to research this same rich intellectual seam, hoping to unearth and examine just one more nugget. Over time, some of my views on mentoring have changed. And, as youll see in this book, a broader perspective has emerged, where each new finding fits more logically into the broader landscape. I lament that it took so long to gain this current perspective but am confident that some of my hard-earned lessons will offer new solutions to the field.

Youth mentoring is among the most popular forms of volunteering in the world. But does it work? Does mentoring actually help young people succeed? In Older and Wiser, mentoring expert Jean Rhodes draws on more than thirty years of empirical research to survey the state of the field. Her conclusion is sobering: there is little evidence that most programs―even renowned, trusted, and long-established ones―are effective. But there is also much reason for hope.

Mentoring programs, Rhodes writes, do not focus on what young people need. Organizations typically prioritize building emotional bonds between mentors and mentees. But research makes clear that effective programs emphasize the development of specific social, emotional, and intellectual skills. Most mentoring programs are poorly suited to this effort because they rely overwhelmingly on volunteers, who rarely have the training necessary to teach these skills to young people. Moreover, the one-size-fits-all models of major mentoring organizations struggle to deal with the diverse backgrounds of mentees, the psychological effects of poverty on children, and increasingly hard limits to upward mobility in an unequal world.

Rhodes doesnt think we should give up on mentoring―far from it. She shows that evidence-based approaches can in fact create meaningful change in young peoples lives. She also recommends encouraging organic mentorship opportunities―in schools, youth sports leagues, and community organizations.

Interested in ordering the book?

The book Older and Wiser will be released in August, in the US. At the moment, we are looking at distribution possibilities between the US and Europe so that you can order your copy as fast and as cheap as possible.
Send us an email so that we can keep you posted!