The effectiveness of teacher induction programs in improving the communication, management and socializational skills of new teachers
Much research has shown that new teachers often come into the profession ill-prepared for the realities and challenges of teaching. This "reality shock" is often the result of the attitudes with which these new teachers come into the profession and their socialization into the organization. This study looked at whether or not formal induction programs are effective in improving the skills, including the classroom performance, of new teachers. This study also sought to determine which areas of need for new teachers are addressed in current teacher induction programs, which areas are not as effectively addressed, and how the needs are best addressed. The sample group for this study included ninety new teachers in ten Wisconsin public school districts. School districts rated components of their induction programs in the areas of communication, management and socialization, and some of the various administrators and new teachers in the districts participated in phone or face-to-face interviews. New teachers in the districts that agreed to participate in the study completed a pre-assessment in September and a post-assessment in January in order to evaluate the new teachers' abilities and attitudes in the areas of communication, management and socialization. They also completed questionnaires regarding their experiences. The new teachers' principals also completed pre- and post-assessments and conducted classroom observations of the new teachers. The teacher induction programs of the ten school districts in the study were classified as "formal" or "informal." Scores were then computed and narrative data was grouped in order to compare the results of the new teachers in formal programs with the results of new teachers in informal programs. The data indicates there is some difference in the skills, performance and attitudes of new teachers in formal programs and those in informal programs. Comparisons of pre- and post-classroom observation records completed by administrators showed greater improvement in teacher performance by new teachers in formal programs. In addition, the new teachers' pre- and post-assessments showed a significant decrease for new teachers in informal programs in their evaluation of their management skills. On the other hand, their socialization skills, according to the administrators' assessments, showed an increase. In addition, based on the results of the questionnaires, new teachers in formal programs have a better attitude about their schools and their experiences.
Sara Jean Larsen,
"The effectiveness of teacher induction programs in improving the communication, management and socializational skills of new teachers"
(January 1, 1997).
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