The effect of online mentoring on teacher self -efficacy of preservice physical education teachers during initial field -based teaching settings

Patricia Lynch McDiarmid, Johnson & Wales University

Abstract

This study was designed to investigate whether a web-based mentoring support system using threaded discussion and e-mail formats within a virtual classroom impacted levels of preservice physical education teacher self-efficacy during a 14-week field-based assignment. The literature supports that assorted mentoring models appear to be effective in providing initial support as teachers enter the profession. Mentoring is one means to address the impending reality of severe teacher shortages evidenced by the fact that up to one-third of new teachers leave the profession within the first 3 years (Feiman-Nemser, 2001; Schwalbe, 2001; Tye & O'Brien, 2002). Employing a mixed methods design, one group of teachers (n = 20) received an online mentored experience, while another group (n = 21) in a separate semester did not. Research questions posed were: (1) To what extent does participation in an online community with continuous mentoring-type support practices affect a preservice educator's self-efficacy levels with respect to student engagement, instructional practices, or classroom management during initial field-based school settings? (2) Which online support practices/communication tools are associated with the largest increases in self-efficacy for preservice teachers enrolled in initial field-based school settings with respect to student engagement, instructional practices, or classroom management?^ A 2 (groups) by 2 time periods (time 1 of the 3 time periods served as the covariate) mixed factorial multivariate repeated measures ANCOVA was computed to determine if the web-based mentored (treatment) and non-mentored (no treatment) groups differed in levels of self-efficacy over 2 time periods following pre-test, midpoint, and post-test administrations of the Tschannen-Moran and Hoy's (1999) Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES). After controlling for initial differences on the pre-test, the treatment group by time interaction was not significant (p = .25) suggesting that the online mentoring treatment did not impact levels of teacher self-efficacy for the student teachers. Following a content analysis of focus group transcripts, reduced feelings of isolation were reported along with the value of peer-mentoring and an anonymous discussion board noted (Patton, 2002).^ Results from this study will assist in re-examining teacher preparation programming practices during initial field-based practicum coursework at the private college located in New England.^

Subject Area

Education, Physical|Education, Teacher Training|Education, Technology of

Recommended Citation

Patricia Lynch McDiarmid, "The effect of online mentoring on teacher self -efficacy of preservice physical education teachers during initial field -based teaching settings" (January 1, 2006). Dissertation & Theses Collection. Paper AAI3234443.
http://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/dissertations/AAI3234443

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