Date of Award

4-2021

Culminating Project Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Educational Administration and Leadership, K-12: Ed.D.

Department

Educational Administration and Higher Education

College

School of Education

First Advisor

Dr.James Johnson chairperson

Second Advisor

Dr. Kay Worner

Third Advisor

Dr. Janine Dahms-Walker

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Beth J Bergren-Mann

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Beginning Teacher, Novice, Teacher, Induction, Minnesota, School, Principal, Mentor, Mentoring, Teaching, Professional Development, Collaboration, Self-efficacy, School Climate, Teacher leadership, Student Achievement

Abstract

Background

“No matter the quality of their preparation, new teachers encounter many distinct challenges as they navigate their first months and years in the classroom” (New Teacher Center, 2015, p.1). To empower new teachers and strengthen their performance during instructional times, as well as enhance the effectiveness of their contribution school wide, many school districts implement induction programming. “Research demonstrates that comprehensive, multi-year induction programs accelerate the professional growth of new teachers, reduce the rate of new teacher attrition, provide a stronger return on states’ and school districts’ investment, and improve student learning” (New Teacher Center, 2015, p. 2)

Wong (2004) defined induction as “a system wide, coherent, comprehensive training and support process that continues for 2 or 3 years and then seamlessly becomes part of the lifelong professional development program of the district to keep new teachers teaching and improving toward increasing their effectiveness“ (p.42) and identified the following components as an integral part of successful induction programs: orientation, professional development, collaboration, administrative support, mentoring, modeling, and observations. Some other characteristics offered by the literature reviewed were formative assessment and instructional feedback, reduced teaching load, release time, and new teacher seminars/workshops. Benefits of participating in teacher induction programming, identified in the scholarly literature included increased student achievement, teacher retention, higher self-efficacy, positive school climate, and teacher leadership.

Problem

While the empirical research regarding new teacher induction itself, its components and impact are abundant, there is little research about the quality of the delivery of induction programs and the efficiency of the activities implemented within the framework of induction programming. In response to this gap, the study proposes to examine the perceptions of K-12 public school teachers who have completed one to three years of teaching and at least a half academic year of teacher induction experience in select Minnesota public school districts.

Purpose

The purpose of the study was to examine teachers’ perceptions about the extent and quality of the implementation of teacher induction programming based on three characteristics of effective teacher induction programs: collaboration, mentoring and principal support, identified by Harry K. Wong (2004). The study also examined their perceptions of the outcomes of engaging in induction programs and the impact of teacher inductions programs on their teaching practice. The study participants were K-12 public school teachers who had completed one to three years of teaching with at least half academic year of teacher induction experience in select Minnesota public schools.

While it is highly recommended that Minnesota public school districts implement teacher induction programs, studies examining the range and the perception of the quality of the implementation of the program components are very limited. Thus, the findings derived from the results of the study may provide data to education leaders on whether their school districts’ induction programs are consistent with best practices found in the literature review. In addition, the study may also provide guidance to school district leadership to support beginning teachers through the implementation of quality induction programs.

Findings

Research demonstrated that engaging beginning teachers in an induction program is considered an effective model to accelerate teacher professional growth. The study findings indicated that Minnesota public school districts that participated in the study implement collaboration, mentoring and principal support components of induction programming consistent with the practices identified in the scholarly literature. The study analysis also indicated that the majority of the teachers surveyed rated collaboration, mentoring and principal support practices as effective. The perceived benefits (increased students’ achievement, raised self-esteem, retention, developed leadership attributes, positive climate and culture) of induction programs reported in the study, were consistent with the literature review.

Comments/Acknowledgements

Dedication

This dissertation is dedicated to my mother, Nino Gujabidze. She could not further advance her education and career because of marriage at an early age but invested a lot in me. She taught me to value the education, appreciate the opportunity of getting an education and set an example for me to fight for such opportunities. Nino raised me as a life-long learner, and always encouraged me to pursue my goals, even if they seem challenging and, in some cases, incredibly impossible too.

My dissertation is also dedicated to my daughter, Anna Giguashvili for checking in with me and my writing process regularly, for being proud of her mom pursuing a doctorate degree and a soon to be a baby-boy, Lucas. I want to be a role model for my children, and I believe that writing this dissertation is a great step towards making this dream come true.

And last, I wish to dedicate this dissertation to women all over the world, who were denied opportunities for education. I hope that the number of such women will decrease every year.

Acknowledgment

There are many people that supported me in the dissertation writing journey. Fortunately, the list is long and I cannot include all of them here, but I want to highlight the people who made this journey possible with their dedicated support.

A special thanks to Dr. James Johnson, the chairman of my dissertation committee. Thank you for your hard work, availability, encouragement and guidance. With the help of his immense support, this is where I am now.

To Dr. Janine Dahms-Walker, for encouraging me to apply for a doctorate at Saint Cloud State University, providing heartful support in the process, helping me with advice and broadening my awareness on teacher development.

To Dr. Kay Worner for guiding me in the right direction, providing feedback and editing my work. Because of your constructive feedback, I feel confident and proud of my accomplishment in dissertation writing.

Many thanks to all my professors at St. Cloud State University, MN. It is hard to explain how much it means to me to have an opportunity to have academic guidance and experience in the United States, as I come from a country where the education system is still struggling to meet 21st century standards and needs.

Thank you, Dr. Beth Mann, for being my mentor in selecting the topic, formulating the structure, and ideas. Your presence instilled a great confidence in me throughout the writing process and gave energy not to give up.

Finally, I want to thank my husband, Beka Giguashvili and my brother, Roma Dolaberidze. Your emotional support, your encouragement and belief that I can pursue my doctorate degree, have been immensely valuable in helping me achieve my goals.

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