Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1997


The researcher examined non-returning first-year teachers and second year teachers who taught during the 1994-95 school year. The research design included five research questions with six null hypotheses testing for differences among second year teachers' perceptions and non-returning teachers' perceptions of their mentor teachers. After calculating ratings on desired and demonstrated scales by 464 subjects, criteria were ranked on mentor characteristics on 12 tasks. The extent to which each task was demonstrated during their first year's teaching experience was also calculated. Participants indicated that the ideal mentor would advocate for the novice and would demonstrate a sensitive approach in assisting. However, study participants responded that the more essential characteristics were not present in their experience with mentors. When examining differences between returning and non-returning teachers' perceptions of mentor characteristics, non-returning teachers expressed a stronger desire to have their mentor be understanding, empathetic, and communicative and to teach in a similar curricular area. Further, they would have liked to have had more discussion regarding their teaching practice and a convenient time to meet and share information. When exploring the differences on desired and demonstrated scales in the perception of their actual experiences, significant differences were found in all 12 tasks. Additional analyses revealed significant differences in male and female perceptions but no differences were found when considering grade level teaching assignment.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted