There have been increases in both teacher turnover and the number of new- or early-career teachers as the leading demographic of educators within schools across the United States. In order to allow new teachers to be best prepared for teaching positions within their schools, districts implement systematic induction procedures whose key component consists of a mentoring program. Reflections of a new teacher mentoring program are inclusive of local considerations for these individual districts. Such values demonstrate not only district-articulated program goals for support of its new teachers, but the values, beliefs, and concepts that all mentoring program participants perceptualize.
This mixed-methods study first identified perceived differences in support levels provided to a district's new teachers, based upon its mentoring program participants' professional and personal background characteristics. These characteristics included program participants' roles in the mentoring program, regular work assignments, level of work assignments, college preparation, education as first career or otherwise, longevity in education, gender, and ethnicity. This study next uncovered the district's mentoring program effectiveness, as identified by the program participants themselves through provided written responses. Lastly, this study identified the effectiveness of the study district's mentoring program, as a function of congruency between aggregated support levels indicated and identified effectiveness by the program participants. Additionally, findings of the district's program effectiveness were triangulated in order to situate its effectiveness within additional findings, the district's program guidelines, and the national literature.
The findings reflected by this research indicated that there is no significant difference in perceived support being provided to new teachers through the district's teacher mentoring program, based upon program participants' regular work assignments as well as based upon program participants' gender. However, the findings did indicate that there is a significant difference in perceived support being provided to new teachers through the district's teacher mentoring program, based upon program participants' roles in the mentoring program, level of work assignments, college preparation, education as first career or otherwise, longevity in education, and ethnicity, respectively.
When evaluating program effectiveness as identified by the participants’ written responses, 10 study-designated sentiment themes emerged, of which five were very positive, two were moderately positive, two were moderately negative, and one was very negative. The five very positive sentiment themes identified consisted of the mentoring program, teachers, mentor support, site relationships, and instructional support. The two moderately positive sentiment themes identified were district-level support and classroom management. The two moderately negative sentiment themes identified included participant experience and program accountability, while the very negative sentiment theme was mentor training.
Congruency between the quantitative findings and the qualitative findings expressed effectiveness or very effectiveness areas in 22 out of 34 surveyed mentoring program areas, of which 13 were considered effective, while nine were considered very effective areas. The results of congruency of the findings articulated a high level of effectiveness of new teachers' acquisition and use of professional knowledge through the mentorship, guidance, and shared expertise of applicable mentor-provided support.
|Advisor:||Wiggall, Richard L.|
|Commitee:||Blair, Karyn L., Dereshiwsky, Mary I., Treat, Kristopher B.|
|School:||Northern Arizona University|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational administration, Education, Teacher education|
|Keywords:||Mentoring, Mentoring program, School district|
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