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Beginning Teacher Induction: Catholic School Administrators' Perceptions of Program Focus and Their Roles

Karen Bigos Brennan, Johnson & Wales University


Interventions directed toward improving teacher effectiveness have the potential to positively impact student achievement (Nye, Konstantopoulos, & Hedges, 2004). Induction and mentoring programs have proliferated as an intervention with the goals of retaining beginning teachers, helping them to adapt to their school culture, and supporting their development as teachers (Wang, Odell, & Schwille, 2008); however, induction programs in North America are frequently narrow, focusing on providing practical and emotional support rather than creating opportunities for teacher learning (Britton, Paine, Pimm, & Raizen, 2003a). There is considerable variation across and within states and school districts with regard to the meaning of induction and the complexity and intensity of induction programs (Wood & Stanulis, 2010). Catholic schools also vary in the comprehensiveness of teacher induction; moreover, there is little extant research on induction in Catholic schools (Brock & Chatlain, 2008). This study explored Catholic school administrators’ perceptions of and their roles in leading teacher induction programs. School administrators play a key role in teacher induction (Angelle, 2002; Brock & Grady, 2003; David, 2003; Marable & Raimondi, 2007; Wood, 2005). The research questions guiding the study were: How do Catholic school administrators describe the focus of beginning teacher induction and mentoring programs? What are Catholic school administrators’ perceptions of their roles in induction and mentoring programs for beginning teachers? Employing a sequential mixed methods design, data were collected from N = 32 elementary and secondary Catholic school administrators in a diocese in New England using focus groups and a questionnaire. Focus group data underwent content analysis. Questionnaire data underwent descriptive and inferential (t tests) statistical analysis. Orienting beginning teachers to school policies and procedures ranked first among administrators’ multiple goals for beginning teacher induction in Catholic schools. Supervision of Instruction emerged as the primary administrative role. A significant difference (t = 2.149; p = .040; ES = large) was found between administrators who participated in formal induction as beginning teachers and those who had not with respect to their allocation of time for induction activities. The results of this study may be useful to administrators as they design and implement induction and mentoring programs in their schools and dioceses.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Educational administration|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Brennan, Karen Bigos, "Beginning Teacher Induction: Catholic School Administrators' Perceptions of Program Focus and Their Roles" (2011). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3450416.