Date of Award

Spring 1997

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Bogenschild, Erika

Second Advisor

Afeldt, Jane

Third Advisor

Bardwell, Rebecca


In April 1994, I was asked by the superintendent in my school district to work with the principals to develop an induction program for new teachers. The teachers' association and administration had negotiated into the contract a requirement that new teachers participate in this induction program for the three years of their probation, but no one knew at that point what the program would look like. As curriculum and staff development coordinator, I seemed a likely candidate for putting the program together. To help begin to formulate some ideas for the program, I met with our current first, second and third year teachers. What I learned from this discussion had a significant influence on this study. We had had an informal mentoring program in place since 1989, and the teachers shared with me the benefits and drawbacks of that program. I also learned more about their needs as first year teachers and how well we were or weren't meeting those needs. From the discussions I had with the newer teachers and the memos they sent me in following up the discussions, I developed a strong interest in the needs of new teachers and finding ways to best help them address those needs. After talking with the teachers in our district, I set out to look for information about what school districts were doing as well as any research that showed what worked and what didn't. This initial research impacted this study in two ways. First, I found very. little information about what schools were doing. I found information on programs that universities were running for new teachers and mentors in various districts, but most of the districts I talked to or wrote to did not have any formal program in place. In my discussions about this dearth of information with my advisor, we developed the focus of this dissertation study. Secondly, in researching what school districts were doing and what should or shouldn't be done in developing teacher induction programs, I had the beginnings of my literature review. I have learned a great deal through this study on what we can do to help improve the effectiveness of new teachers' communication, management and socialization skills, and I will be able to apply much of this to what we do in our district. I have learned even more from working with and listening to many new teachers and mentors in the past three years.



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