Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)

Program

Educational Leadership

Date of Award

8-2004

Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Russell F. West

Committee Members

Elizabeth Ralston, Louise L. MacKay, Nancy Dishner

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify beginning teachers' perceptions of how colleges and universities can improve their teacher preparation programs and what school systems can do to ensure that first-year teachers have a successful and satisfying experience in the classroom. A total of 20 first and second-year elementary teachers participated in 20 separate, qualitative interviews. The information collected from the interviews was inductively analyzed.

Several themes reflecting the perceptions of study participants emerged during the data analysis process: (1) a belief that college classes did not reflect or prepare new teachers for the "real world" of teaching. (2) feeling overwhelmed by teaching duties and expectations; (3) positive benefits of mentoring; (4) a desire for more interactive field experience; and (4) the need for classroom management skills.

From the findings, the investigator presented the following suggestions for improving the teacher education program at colleges: (1) provide additional opportunities for more interactive field experience, not just observing; (2) eliminate many of the philosophy classes and research requirements; (3) include more instruction in dealing with classroom management, including discipline strategies and effective means of interacting with parents; (4) intensify reading instruction; and (5) provide more course work in special education issues.

The following suggestions were presented for improving the induction program at the school level: (1) formally assign a mentor; (2) schedule a time for the principal to meet with new teachers individually to fully explain school procedures and expectations; (3) hire beginning teachers earlier in the summer to provide them with more preparation time; (4) furnish teachers with adequate funds to purchase school materials; and (5) provide release time to observe veteran teachers.

This study provides valuable information for university departments of education to improve their teacher preparation program to reflect the needs of today's new teachers. These findings will assist school systems in developing more appropriate induction programs for new teachers.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Copyright

Copyright by the authors.

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