Date of Graduation

5-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

Laura Kent

Committee Member

Thomas Smith

Second Committee Member

Ronna Turner

Third Committee Member

Michael Wavering

Keywords

Education, Experienced mentors, Induction programs, Logistic regression, Mentoring, Teacher induction

Abstract

Based on data from the 2007-08 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), 2008-09 Teacher Follow-up Survey (TFS) and 2009-10 Beginning Teacher Longitudinal Study (BTLS) datasets, this study examined a prediction model for new teacher retention that combined variables from both the presence of induction program components and mentoring traits. New teacher retention was selected as an important criterion because attrition causes a large financial burden on already budget-limited districts, and teacher turnover impacts teacher effectiveness and student learning. Results of a logistic regression analysis indicated that the presence of an induction program (W1T0220), the presence of a mentor (W2MNTYN), the use of seminars or classes for beginning teachers (W1T0223), and regular supportive communication with a principal or other administrator (W1T0225) during the first year of teaching were significant predictors for teacher retention in a sample of N = 1992 new teachers. Two-way frequencies revealed that new teachers who did not participate in an induction program left teaching in years two and three at nearly twice the rate of those who had induction. Similarly, teachers who had seminars or classes for beginning teachers and regular supportive communication with their principals, department chairs, or other administrators left teaching in years two and three at half the rate of those new teachers who did not have either of those induction components. Additionally, teachers who worked with a mentor during their first year of teaching left teaching in years two and three at half the rate of those teachers who did not have a mentor. Generalized induction programs utilizing each of the significant predictors are presented with the expectation that their use could decrease teacher attrition and result in greater overall teacher effectiveness and student learning.

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