Defense Date

2009

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Educational Studies

First Advisor

Michael Davis

Abstract

This study investigates the perceptions surrounding the role Virginia elementary school principals play in supporting the induction of new teachers. Attention is given to the type of the principal’s support, the frequency of support, and the perceived importance assigned that support. Because the Virginia Department of Education has encouraged the use of one of three specific models of induction (the ETS Pathwise model, Fairfax Virginia’s Great Beginnings model, or the New Teacher Center “Santa Cruz” model) or a locally, research-based model, additional attention is placed on the impact training and experience in one of these models has and the degree to which varying levels of that training influences those perceptions. In this non-experimental, comparative study, a census of new teachers and principals throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia was conducted, using an adaptation of an instrument developed by Gurule-Gonzales (1995). Follow-up telephone interviews were conducted to confirm findings from the survey. Results indicate there are statistically significant differences in some principal and new teacher perceptions of the Virginia elementary principals’ role in supporting programs of induction. These are found more often in the perceptions regarding frequency than regarding importance. Statistically significant differences were found among principals’ perceptions of certain categories of support when considering the amount of training and the type of induction program utilized. While statistically significant differences in teachers’ perceptions could not be determined because of the small n, there appear to be practical differences based upon the type of induction program and the amount of new teacher program training. There are a number of implications resulting from this study. New teachers need to be integrated into the life of the school, and programs of induction should be certain to include the careful pairing of mentors with new teachers. Frequent observation and feedback by the principal are necessary to support new teachers. Principals must maintain a frequent presence throughout the work with the new teachers and must be more transparent regarding support efforts. The type of program and the amount of training provided principals and new teachers alike are also critical aspects of induction.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2009

Included in

Education Commons

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