Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Counseling

First Advisor

Charles Teddlie

Abstract

Research studies have concluded that many new teachers abandon their teaching careers shortly after starting them. Part of the reason is their lack of adjustment within the very special social structure of public education. Induction of teachers frequently appears to be inadequate. Research over the past 20 years suggests a correlation between positive induction experiences and the quality of schools. This causal comparative study entailed a 3 x 2 design with three levels of school effectiveness and two levels of teacher experience. The schools were classified as effective, typical, or ineffective based on a classification scheme produced by the Louisiana Department of Education. In addition, the schools' classifications were further verified by students' actual academic performance. All schools in the effective group scored higher on a criterion-referenced test than those in the typical group, which in turn scored higher than those in the ineffective group. Teachers were classified as experienced or inexperienced based on their prior teaching experience in other schools. Teachers with one year or less of service in their current schools were asked to complete a questionnaire designed to assess their induction experience at their schools. The questionnaire was based on the work of Rosenholtz described in her 1989 book, Teachers' Workplace. Teachers who completed the questionnaire and volunteered to do so were interviewed. The answers from the interviews were grouped into emergent themes that distinguished teachers from each of the three levels of school effectiveness status. These results were compared to the results from the written questions. The results showed that teachers from effective schools had a more positive view of their induction experience than teachers from ineffective schools. Teachers from typical schools had a view intermediate between that of the effective and ineffective schools. The experienced teachers did not view their induction differently than the inexperienced teachers. The interview results supported the conclusions of the quantitative study. These results suggest that successful induction of teachers into a school produces a teaching environment that results in higher academic achievement. They support an increased effort to train principals and staff in the key role they play in the induction process.

Pages

190

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