Assessing the Effectiveness of a District's Induction Program


Original Member Request:

I am working a topic for my dissertation and am considering two possibilities.
1. The first is a combination of formative and summative assessment of the effectiveness of our district's induction/mentoring program.
2. The second is a comparison of the academic success of students in classes whose new teachers participated in an ongoing new teacher induction/mentoring program as compared with students whose teachers participated in a beginning of the year induction program.
Can any MLRN members refer me to any sources/people that will help me refine my choices?

Thanks very much.

Mary Koski, Illinois

Member Responses:

I recently read a good article to recommend to Mary Koski. It is "Mentoring Effects on Proteges Classroom Practice: An experimental field study." The authors are Carolyn Evertson and Margaret Smithey from Vanderbilt. It's in Volume 93, number 5 of the Journal of Educational Research (May June, 2000).
Hope this helps.

Mary Clement <mcclement@pop.mindspring.com>

Are you doing qualitative or quantitative evaluation?
In qualitative you can't compare because you are generating a hypothesis and not proving one so you might want to rethink #2 although it sounds like a great topic.

Some sources you might want to look at are:
-Reiman and Thies-Sprinthall, Mentoring and Supervision for Teacher Development
-Portner, Mentoring New Teachers
-Odell, Mentor Teacher Programs.
-I also think you should check ERIC on the Internet. There is a lot on mentoring.

Have you read any dissertations related to mentoring? That really should be your first stop. You can go into the UMI site on the Internet and see what has been done in the past two years or go to you University library and see if they use First Search and find them there.
Please let me know if I can be of further help. I'm just finishing my own dissertation--not on mentoring new teachers but on student teachers.

Good luck,

Barbara Lapetina, BLapetina@aol.com

I know that Connecticut has been offering its new teachers lots of support as they prepare for the new performance assessments required in that state. You might check with the CT Dept. of Ed. for their current research in the effects of their support seminars for new teachers on the learning of the students. I don't know exactly where to send you, but you might start with this site: www.state.ct.us/sde.brta/index.htm for the beginning teacher program.

Good Luck.
Joy A. Seybold, Jaseybold@aol.com

The first idea sounds more straightforward / doable than the second. You might consider folding a version of your second idea in with the first, as I would expect to see a description of the academic success of students in your district as part of your summative report of program effectiveness.
One reference you could examine is Frieberg ML, Social support and the performance of first-year teachers. Unpublished dissertation, UW Milwaukee,1987.

Good luck,

Jeff Morzinski, PhD <jmorzins@mcw.edu>

One short article covering participant forms for assessing programs was in the NASSP Bulletin, 81(586), pp. 112-116, by W. James Popham.
As to your second choice, Evertson and Smithey (2000) also did some research comparing the types of induction and their effects on student success. If you have access to hwwilsonweb.com, you can find it there. Otherwise the title is "Mentoring Effects on Proteges' Classroom Practice: An Experimental Field Study" published in The Journal of Educational Research, 93(5), pp. 294-304, May/June 2000.
I also have question for the group: I recently finished my summary paper (Master's Degree) on a proposed induction program for my school and was encouraged by my review board to publish. What would be a publication suited to this end?

Steven D. R. Orth" <sdorth@ties.k12.mn.us> Apple Valley, Minnesota

Sorry I can't help you. If you can find appropriate control groups to compare, the second choice would make you a major guru in the mentoring field.

Roger, RAKinsey@aol.com