Date of Award

6-18-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Andrew Whitehead, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Monte Tidwell, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Margot Waddington-Vagliardo., Ed.D.

Abstract

Current research continues to report that novice teacher attrition rates are unacceptably high but that induction and mentoring may have an effect on retention. The purpose of this study was to examine a particular group of beginning teachers to determine how the induction experience of alternate route teacher candidates who work in low socio-economic, underperforming, urban areas in Northeastern New Jersey influenced their retention decision-making. Specifically, this mixed methods research with a case study approach explored whether the induction program structure mandated by New Jersey was being adhered to, which elements of the program were effective and ineffective, if the experience as structured had any effect on whether the subjects decided to remain in teaching, and if these variables were affected by race and/or gender. The analysis of data from 53 questionnaires and 6 in-depth interviews with novice alternate route candidates indicated that the mandated components for the induction experience were not consistently occurring. The researcher found that the decision to stay in teaching was not as affected by the induction experience as by personal characteristics and contextual variables, such as strong individual self-efficacy and the state of the economy. There was no difference based on gender and race as to an individual’s decision to remain teaching based on their overall mentoring experience. Novice teachers found trust, confidentiality, mentor teacher accessibility and responsiveness, and comfort level with their mentor to be important components to an effective mentoring experience. Ineffective factors associated with new teacher mentoring include having a “one size fits all” approach where each person is treated in the same way, and where the activities exist in name only and may not actually be occurring.

Share

COinS