Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Effects of Mentoring/Induction Support on Beginning Teachers' Practices in Early Elememtary Classrooms (K-3)

Davis, Barbara and Kimberly Higdon. "The Effects of Mentoring/Induction Support on Beginning Teachers' Practices in Early Elementary Classrooms (K-3)." Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 22.3 (2008): 261-274.

This mixed-method study examined the effects of a school/university induction partnership on the instructional practices of two groups of beginning teachers in early elementary classrooms. Additionally, it investigated the types of support provided to beginning teachers and determined their retention rates after one year in the profession. The participants were 10 first-year teachers who all graduated from the same teacher preparation program. 5 teachers participated in the school/university program and also received induction support fro their districts. The other 5 teachers received only the mentoring/induction support provided by their districts. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. An analysis of the quantitative data revealed greater growth in classroom practices for the program participants. In addition, survey results indicated that program participants received more frequent assistance from mentors than non-participants. All of the participants returned to teaching for a second year. The qualitative analysis provided greater insight into specific ways the classroom practices and mentor assistance differed between the two groups. Overall, the results suggest that school/university induction partnerships may contribute to the development of teacher effectiveness during the first year of teaching.

"The missing link in school reform has been an "investment in teachers" and concludes, "students learning in this country will improve only when we focus our efforts on improving teaching."

"Teachers in the induction program modeled and structured cooperative learning before having the students work as a group. As a result, the groups were more engaged and productive."

"A comprehensive induction program can foster the development of teaching expertise in the earl years of the profession."

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