Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Richard Fossey

Second Advisor

Eugene Kennedy

Abstract

The purpose of this study was threefold: (1) to identify the characteristics of effective teacher induction programs, (2) to determine the relationship between teacher induction and retention in a northeastern Louisiana school district, and (3) determine if teacher induction practices in that district are useful to new/beginning teachers. A pilot study was conducted, and a validity panel of experts validated the content and face validity of the survey and interview instruments developed for the various participants. The participants included the superintendent Central Office staff persons, selected principals, and new/beginning teachers. There was some discrepancy between the responses of the teachers and the principals as to the presence of an induction program and its effectiveness. Many new/beginning teachers considered the mentoring program an assessment tool rather than as a support mechanism. The major findings of this study were consistent with current literature; however, this study revealed that schools continue to implement fragments of teacher induction programs. To be effective, teacher induction programs must endeavor to improve teacher performance, increase new teacher retention, promote the professional and personal well being of new/beginning teachers by reducing the problems they encounter, satisfy mandated requirements related to induction and certification, and transmit the school system's culture to new/beginning teachers. Recommendations were provided for the stakeholders identified in this study, namely the teachers, Central Office administrators, school boards, university personnel, and the State Department of Education. The recommended components of an effective teacher induction program must include a combination of the following components: (a) a structured mentoring program that is separate and apart from assessment with training components for the mentors, (b) a reduced workload with release time provided for the mentor and the new/beginning teacher, (c) a beginning of the year new teacher orientation, (d) professional development that includes workshops, seminars, or inservices that are mandated for at least the first year and that are designed to deal with the problematic issues and concerns of first year teachers, and (e) collaboration between the school district and the university. One component standing alone or one coupled with another is not sufficient.

ISBN

9780599636415

Pages

212

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