Date of Award

2-11-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

George R. Bieger, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Cathy C. Kaufman, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Monte Tidwell, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study examined the effects of mentoring and induction programs on the self-efficacy beliefs of novice teachers. As school districts in Pennsylvania attempt to maintain highly qualified staff in all curricular areas, supporting newly hired teachers is at the forefront of educational policy in the United States. Beyond training novice teachers, school districts must also maintain appropriate staffing levels. Teacher attrition is a significant problem where large numbers of teachers depart long before retirement (Ingersoll, 2001). The statistics on teacher attrition presented by the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future (2007) indicate teacher turnover is a significant problem. The importance of training and keeping new teachers is why researchers indicate the need for programs that foster teacher learning and growth (Feiman-Nemser, 2003). This study surveyed newly hired teachers in Pennsylvania who participated in an induction program. Participants included male and female teachers from urban, suburban, and rural school districts with one, two, or three years of teaching experience. Comparisons were made between teachers who were assigned a mentor, with those who were not. Statistical data revealed a significant difference in the self-efficacy beliefs of novice teachers with a favorable view of induction compared to those with an unfavorable view of their induction program experience. Furthermore, in a comparison of novice teachers in the sample who stayed in the same teaching assignment with those who moved to a different school, the data revealed an almost significant relationship when comparing novice teacher ratings of their mentoring experience. Data from the survey also revealed that gender, school location, and years of teaching experience did not reveal any statistically significant differences when comparing novice teacher attitudes toward mentoring and induction programs. The results of this study also showed that the self-efficacy beliefs of novice teachers were not significantly influenced in either a positive or negative way by their relationship with their mentor. Novice teachers who participated in the survey did indicate however that their mentor provided them with useful information. This quantitative study did concur with research on the positive effects of novice teacher participation in induction and mentoring programs.

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