Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Learning the culture of teaching: A middle school perspective
by Wenzel, Alicia B., Ph.D., Indiana University, 2009, 239; 3386745
Abstract (Summary)

The rate at which teachers depart the profession, especially teachers with 0-3 years of experience, is mounting. This attrition drastically impacts the quality of education public school students achieve. Therefore, this qualitative case study was designed to discover, if, and to what degree, the perceived influences of this first year experience attribute to new teachers' desire to remain in the teaching profession. Explored through narratives and observations were the perspectives of two, middle school teachers toward their first year experiences transitioning into the culture of teaching and the culture of their school. The orienting questions guiding this study were: (1) what are the perceived influences of the culture of teaching and the culture of a specific school on new middle school teachers' personal and professional lives, and (2) what are the transitions, young adult to adult and student to teacher, for new middle school teachers personally and professionally?

Findings illustrate that the new teachers did not experience culture shock reported by many new teachers during their initial teaching experiences. This was attributed primarily to the support received from those in their personal and professional lives. The new teachers experienced some stress, particularly from having to transition from young adult to adult and from student to teacher. However, the preparations taken to get ready to teach, the personal dispositions of the new teachers, appropriate match between teachers and their assignments, the support received from various school personnel and family, and the positive culture of this school enabled the teachers to learn how to cope with and largely overcome the stressors associated with their first year of teaching. Further, these aspects assisted the teacher participants with successfully fulfilling their new adult and professional roles and finding satisfaction with their first year of teaching.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Flinders, David J.
Commitee: Hossler, Carol-Ann, Kunzman, Rob, Warren, Donald
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 70/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Instructional Design, Middle School education, Teacher education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Culture of teaching, Diversity, Mentoring, Middle school, New teacher induction and mentoring, School administation and leadership, School culture and climate, Teacher induction, Teacher retention and attrition, Teaching culture
Publication Number: 3386745
ISBN: 978-1-109-52415-4
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