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The influence of school culture on high school teacher induction

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The influence of school culture on high school teacher induction
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Meagher, Christopher M
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369 leaves : ; 28 cm

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Teacher orientation -- Case studies ( lcsh )
Mentoring in education -- Case studies ( lcsh )
High school environment -- Case studies ( lcsh )
Classroom environment -- Case studies ( lcsh )
Classroom environment ( fast )
High school environment ( fast )
Mentoring in education ( fast )
Teacher orientation ( fast )
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theses ( marcgt )
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 354-369).
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School of Education and Human Development
Statement of Responsibility:
by Christopher M. Meagher.

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University of Colorado Denver
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Full Text
THE INFLUENCE OF SCHOOL CULTURE ON
HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER INDUCTION
by
Christopher M. Meagher
B.A. Boston College, 1982
M.A. Boston College, 1982
M.A. University of Maryland, 1987
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
Education Leadership and Innovation
2003


This thesis for the Doctor of Philosophy
degree by
Christopher M. Meagher
has been approved
by
Carol Sullivan

Date


Meagher, Christopher M. (Ph.D., Education Leadership and Innovation)
The Influence of School Culture on High School Teacher Induction
Thesis directed by Professor Laura D. Goodwin.
ABSTRACT
This case study examined the influence of school culture on high school
teacher induction in one large school district (Pascal Public Schools) and one district
suburban high school (Parker High School). School cultural norms were identified
and explained with respect to their capacities to help inductees achieve induction
objectives. Participants in this study were induction agentsschool district-level
leaders and high school formal and informal mentorsand high school inductees.
Data consisted of primary source documentation, field notes, interviews, and
surveys. Most data consisted of semi-structured interviews conducted with thirty-
two study participants, and induction surveys administered twice to thirty high
school inductees. Data analyses included: (a) document review of primary sources,
(b) descriptive and sequential analyses of interview responses, (c) categorical
aggregation of trends, (d) dependent groups t-tests, and (e) correlation analyses.
Results indicated several key findings.
First, Pascal Schools succeeded in establishing norms for developing
multiple layers of induction support for new teachers, for maintaining high
expectations for staff performance, and for maintaining accountability standards.
Second, Parker induction leaders succeeded in cultivating social norms conducive to
inductee learning and assimilation. These norms included relationship-building,
multiple layers of supports, high expectations, and collaboration. Third, Parker
organizational structures (e.g., instructional coaching, academic departments, and
the school calendar) fundamentally influenced the relative growth and development
of high school inductees. Fourth, induction supports and cultural dynamics at
Parker were more conducive to the assimilation and development of younger
inductees than those either older or more experienced.
Survey results suggested that inductees received more help from and
experienced more satisfaction with informal mentoring than mentoring from
assigned mentors. Inductees identified system information as their most important
need, but perceived this to have been inadequately met by induction agents
collectively. Inductee satisfaction with teaching related positively to satisfaction
111


with instructional coaching, satisfaction with teacher-colleagues, satisfaction with
school administrators, and the amount of school system information provided.
This study contributes to the literature on teacher induction by illuminating
the interplay of forces that both facilitate and inhibit new teacher assimilation and
development. Future studies of inductions influence on student learning outcomes
are recommended.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Signed
Laura D. Goodwin
IV


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
I am indebted to the financial assistance of the Colorado Partnership for
Educational Renewal (CoPER) for financially underwriting this endeavor. I am
especially grateful for the assistance, questions, and support provided by Elizabeth
Parmelee, Director of CoPER.
I wish to convey my appreciation to Dr. Laura Goodwin for the many hours
she devoted to assisting me both as my advisor and as my thesis committee chair.
Similarly, I feel fortunate to have received direction, suggestions, and support from
Dr. A1 Moss, Dr. Carol Sullivan, and Dr. Kenny Wolf. Without Professors Wolfs
advice to limit the scale of this project I doubt I would have finished.
I am incredibly thankful for the assistance of Sue Gill. She is a remarkable
woman who epitomizes excellence in leadership, gives generously of her time and
spirit, and understands school induction like few others.
I also wish to express my gratitude toward Genevieve Laca, Kerry Entwistle,
and Patrice Collins, former students who helped me in ways too numerous to list.
To my children, Justin and Kelsey: thanks for your patience and
understanding. You will never again have to hear me say: We can do that after Im
done with my dissertation.


Finally, to my beloved wife Ellen: thank you for your compassion,
encouragement, and editing. They were indispensable to this process.


CONTENTS
Figures...................................................xviii
Tables....................................................xix
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION..............................................1
Background.............................................1
Mentoring and Induction Defined........................4
Purposes of Study......................................5
Statement of Problem...................................6
Context for This Research..............................9
Conceptual Framework..................................13
Research Questions....................................17
Proposed Structure and Methodology....................19
Summary...............................................23
2. LITERATURE REVIEW........................................25
Background............................................25
Meaning and Purposes..................................27
Historical and Policy Perspectives....................32
Conceptualizations of Teacher Mentoring...............37
vii


Stages of Teacher Growth...........................37
Mentor Functions and Styles........................40
Mentoring as Context Bound Learning................41
Open Systems Framework...................................44
History............................................44
Systems Perspective Defined........................45
System Characteristics.............................47
System Controls....................................49
System Boundaries..................................50
Relevance of Systems Perspective for Induction.....51
Educational Institutions and School Culture..............52
The Role of Political Systems......................52
School Induction and School Cultural Norms.........54
Summary..................................................59
3. METHODOLOGY..................................................63
Background...............................................64
Methodological Approach and Rationale....................66
Case Study.........................................66
Research Sites and Population......................68
Gaining Entry......................................70
vm


The Researchers Role
71
Data Collection Methods...................................74
Historical Records.................................79
Participant Observation............................81
Surveys............................................89
Data Management...........................................96
Data Analysis Procedures..................................98
Historical Records.................................98
Participant Observation: Field Notes and Interview Data .99
Survey Data.......................................103
Study Validity...........................................105
Limitations..............................................108
Summary..................................................109
4. HISTORICAL ANTECEDENTS AND CULTURAL CONTEXTS 110
Background...............................................110
Economic Forces..........................................113
Legislative Forces.......................................116
Educational Reform Ideas.................................120
Teacher Quality...................................125
IX


Increasing School Discipline......................127
Site-based Management.............................129
School Accountability Initiatives.................130
School Choice.....................................131
Outcomes-Based Education..........................135
Political Forces and District Leadership................143
Institutionalizing Key Reforms..........................148
Building Trust..........................................150
Summary.................................................153
5. PASCAL COUNTY INDUCTION PROGRAM: 1993-2002.................155
Background..............................................155
Research Question la: How does a large school district
develop the specific induction program that it develops: what
were the purposes, research bases, and impetus for
developing the program that was developed?.....................157
Mandates and Budgetary Constraints.....................157
Program Formulation and Implementation: 1993-1997 ..159
Induction Evolution: 1997-2002.........................171
Research Question lb: What are the characteristic features of
the district induction program?................................175
Orientation and the Notion of Seminar Facilitation.....175
x


Dynamic, Responsive, and Goal-oriented.............177
District Induction Goals...........................178
Research-based Induction Components................179
Centralization/Decentralization....................184
Instructional Coaching.............................187
Principal Leadership...............................189
Summary...................................................190
6. THE PERCEIVED EFFECTS OF SCHOOL CULTURE ON
INDUCTION OBJECTIVES.........................................192
Background................................................192
Part One: The Perceived Effects Of School District Culture On
Induction Objectives......................................193
District Induction Objectives......................193
Research Question 2a: What facets of the districts culture
seem to obstruct the induction program from meeting its
intended objectives, and what facets of the districts culture
seem to enable the induction program to meet its intended
objectives?...............................................195
The Influence of District Size.....................196
The Influence of Government Policy.................197
School District Commitment to Institutional Learning ...199
The Influence of High Expectations and Performance
Standards..........................................200
xi


The Influence of Interpersonal Networks................202
The Influence of Accountability Mechanisms.............204
Part One: Summary.............................................208
Part Two: The Perceived Effects of High School Culture on
Induction Objectives..........................................209
High School Induction Objectives.......................210
The Setting: Parker High School........................212
Research Question lb: How have the characteristic features of
the district induction program been altered or implemented in
one district high school?.....................................214
District Cultural Influences at Parker.................214
The Influence of Financial Constraints.................214
The Influence of High Expectations.....................215
Influence of Accountability Norms......................216
Commitment to Institutional Learning...................217
The Influence of Interpersonal Networks................218
District Induction Influences and the Shape of Parker
Induction.....................................................219
Induction at Parker....................................221
Parker Induction Features..............................224
Xll


Research Question 2b:What facets of a high school's culture
seem to obstruct the induction program from meeting its
intended objectives, and what facets of a high schools
culture seem to enable the induction program to meet
its intended objectives?.................................225
Parker Leadership.................................226
High Expectations.................................229
Competition and Team-Emphases.....................232
School-wide Accountability Emphases...............234
Multiple Layers of Support/Relationship Building..234
Student-Centered Philosophy.......................237
The Influence of High School Organizational Features.....240
Structural Flexibility............................240
The Latest Layer: Instructional Coaching..........242
Organizational Complexity.........................243
Class Scheduling..................................245
Academic Departments..............................247
Temporal Structures...............................248
Summary..................................................250
7. THE PERCEIVED EFFECTS OF INDUCTION ON THE
MENTOR.......................................................254
Background...............................................254
Xlll


Research Question 3 a: How do mentor perceptions of the
districts induction program affect their thinking about
themselves as educational professionals?...................255
Perceptions of the District and the District Program.255
Instructional Coaching..............................257
Perceived Effects of the Districts Program.........257
Research Question 3b: What do mentors learn about
themselves and other teachers?.............................259
Mentor Implicit Learning............................259
Mentoring: An Extension of the Mentors Self...............262
Summary....................................................263
8. THE PERCEIVED EFFECTS OF INDUCTION ON NEW HIGH
SCHOOL TEACHERS..................................................265
Background.................................................265
Part One: Survey Results...................................265
Research Question 4a: What are the perceived effects of
formal mentoring on new high school teachers?..............267
Research Question 4b: What are the perceived effects of
informal mentoring on new high school teachers?............271
Research Question 4c: What are the perceived effects of
induction assistance provided by district personnel on new
high schoolteachers?.......................................273
xiv


Research Question 4d: What differences do mentees perceive
in both the forms and quantities of assistance available in the
fall and spring of their first year?.........................278
Research Question 4e: To what extent does the new high
school teachers self-efficacy (i.e., their beliefs about their
own competence to deliver instruction, manage their classes,
and engage students) change between fall and spring of their
induction year?..............................................282
Research Question 4f: How do the perceived forms and
quantities of assistance rendered by induction agents relate
to new teacher satisfaction with teaching and induction?.....283
Research Question 4g. How do the perceived forms and
quantities of assistance rendered by the induction agents
relate to new teacher perceptions of self-efficacy?...........289
Part One: Summary.............................................292
Part Two: Interview Results...................................293
Research Question 4a: What are the perceived effects of
formal mentoring on new high school teachers?.................294
Research Question 4b: What are the perceived effects of
informal mentoring on new high school teachers?...............297
Research Question 4c: What are the perceived effects of
induction assistance provided by district personnel on new
high school teachers?.........................................299
Different Induction Effects: Mature Teachers and
Babies...............................................300
Summary.......................................................302
xv


9. FINDINGS....................................................306
Purposes of Study.......................................306
General Research Questions..............................307
Research Methods........................................308
Conceptual Framework....................................308
Summary of Chapter Four Findings........................309
Summary of Chapter Five Findings........................311
Summary of Chapter Six Findings.........................314
Summary of Chapter Seven Findings.......................319
Summary of Chapter Eight Findings.......................321
Synthesis: Study Findings and the Systems Conceptual
Framework...............................................325
Implications for Practice...............................328
Limitations of the Study................................332
Recommendations for Further Research....................335
APPENDIX
A. Consent Form: Written Surveys........................337
B. Consent Form: Interviews.............................339
C. Mentoring Questionnaire..............................341
D. Interview Questions..................................352
xvi


BIBLIOGRAPHY
.354
xvn


FIGURES
Figures
1.1 Model of Induction Embedded in School Culture..............14
3.1 Studys Questions, Data Sources, and Analysis Plans..........75
3.2 Sample of Coded Text........................................101
9.1 Model of Induction Embedded in School Culture.............326
9.2 Revised Model of Induction Embedded in School Culture......327
xviu


TABLES
Tables
8.1 Perceived Mentor Effectiveness................................268
8.2 Satisfaction with Formal Mentoring............................270
8.3 Perceived Assistance Provided by Formal Mentors...............270
8.4 Satisfaction with Informal Mentors............................272
8.5 Perceived Assistance Provided by Informal Mentors.............272
8.6 Perceived Effectiveness of District Induction Meetings
and Assistance................................................274
8.7 Perceived Assistance Provided by District Induction Agents....275
8.8 Categories of Induction Assistance: Needed v. Received. Fall ..276
8.9 Categories of Induction Assistance: Needed v. Received.
Spring....................................................... 277
8.10 Changes in Assistance: Computed Variables.....................280
8.11 Frequency of Mentoring by Forms...............................281
8.12 Teacher Efficacy Categories...................................283
8.13 Correlations Between Satisfaction with Teaching and
Satisfaction with Induction Providers.........................284
8.14 Correlations Between Satisfaction with Teaching and
Induction Assistance..........................................286
8.15 Correlations Between Teacher Satisfactions and Induction
Assistance: Formal Mentoring..................................287
xix


8.16 Correlations Between Teacher Satisfactions and Induction
Assistance: Informal Mentoring.................................288
8.17 Correlations Between Teacher Efficacy (Class Management)
and Perceived Assistance.......................................290
8.18 Correlations Between Teacher Efficacy (Instruction)
and Perceived Assistance.......................................291
8.19 Correlations Between Teacher Efficacy (Student Engagement)
and Perceived Assistance.......................................291
xx


CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
Background
Fresh out of college in 19821 began my formal teaching career. I had
determination to do well, a love of my subject, and plenty of coaching experience.
But I performed miserably. My self-selected mentorand the term mentor did not
even cross my mind at that timewas a renegade Catholic priest who knew little
about learning styles and adolescent motivation. No one at the school was assigned
to assist me with the basics of lesson planning, classroom management, grading, and
pedagogy. Had I more sense and less fear of inadequacy, I think I would have
inquired much more frequently from vastly more experienced teachers who taught
in classrooms nearby. As it was, I am certain students for whom I was responsible
learned far less than I would have liked.
Teacher mentoring is a relationship between a teacher new to an institution
and a more experienced member of that institution. The relationship typically
involves assistance provided by the experienced teacher in the form of emotional
support, information, guidance, and challenge to facilitate the new teachers
professional and personal development. In the first years of my teaching career, the
1


relationships I developed with more experienced teachers did in fact address my
needs for emotional support and information. I was treated with respect by veteran
staff and left alone to do my job. But I cannot recall a single instance of being
challenged either to contemplate the perspective of the students or to do something
other than what my own teachers did when I sat in classes as an adolescent. As
such, my own experience of being mentored did not correspond to the ideal
mentoring described above.
With the passage of years I learned how to prepare sound lessons, manage a
classroom, assess student work, and motivate and challenge students. Outside of
the domain commonly called mv class I became aware of my tendency to identify
with new teachers struggling with their own unfamiliar environments and
responsibilities. This tendency inclined me to act as a mentor for others: I offered
emotional and informational support, I introduced them to others who could be of
assistance to them, and I tried to help them become increasingly competent and
confident in their roles as an educational professionals. However, during that period
I lacked knowledge about learning theory, adolescent cognition, learning
disabilities, and a host of other things relevant to student intellectual and emotional
development. I dispensed advice anyway...just as my mentor had done.
In retrospect I believe I acted well in attending to the personal and emotional
needs of young teachers, but I did little to help them develop as competent
educational professionals. In some ways I was yet another participant in a system
2


that sustained common norms of high school teacher cultureindividualism and
egalitarianism (Little, 1990)but did little to promote thoughtful inquiry about
teacher practices and student learning. I professed to challenge students and
promote critical thinking, yet I did little to challenge the underlying and unexamined
assumptions that staff new to the profession brought to their work. Without this
challenge, I now believe I was not helping them to adequately reach their potentials
as teachers. The realization that I had fallen short of my capacity to help other
teachers spurred my interest in the literature on K-12 teacher mentoring. There I
have sought answers to the question: How can teachers new to the profession be
served so that they can become excellent facilitators of student learning?
The literature on teacher mentoring has been useful in allowing me to
explore a plethora of programs, guiding norms, and pitfalls preventing successful
mentoring relationships. I have incorporated many of these ideas and best
practices into my work as the coordinator of mentoring for my high school over the
past three years. But while the body of K-12 mentoring literature is strong on
program description and advice for practitioners, it is relatively weak with regard to
conceptualization (Little, 1990; Anderson & Shannon, 1988). Mentoring programs,
typically originating as facets of school districts induction program, are part and
parcels of the stream of educational reforms that have flowed steadily since the
1980s (Feiman-Nemser, 1996). Since the 1990s, new mentoring programs or
activities institutionalize the pre-existing informal activities and relationships at
3


schools, although these are sometimes perceived as additions to the common
activities of K-12 schools (Little, 1990).
Mentoring and Induction Defined
The literature on K-12 mentoring seldom elucidates differences between the
terms mentoring programs and induction programs, and the terms are often used
interchangeably. By mentoring programs I refer to specifically organized programs,
activities, and relationships created to help the teacher new to a school acquire the
requisite emotional, behavioral, and informational resources for successful work at
the school. Because they are specifically organized by the school or district, and
because they virtually always involve the selection of a mentor to pair with a new
teacher, mentoring programs are best known for the their emphases on formal
mentoringmentoring performed by persons specifically designated and perhaps
trained to aid a teacher new to the school system. In contrast, induction programs
consist of the school or school districts comprehensive plan for both assimilating
new teachers into the school/district culture and developing their potential as
educational professionals. Mentoring programs are thus facets of induction
programs.
4


Purposes of Study
Failure of previous studies to delineate either the perceived effects of
mentoring programs from the perceived effects of induction programs, or the
perceived effects of formal mentoring from those of informal mentoring, have
contributed to confusion in this research area. This study intends to reduce some of
this confusion. This study will illuminate the experiences of new teachers and their
mentors, by investigating the web of relationships that emerge among educators
new staff and veteranas they take the roles of: informal mentors, formal mentors,
and school and district induction agents. A central assumption of this study is that a
districts culture and a high school culture influence the induction program, all
mentoring dynamics, and ultimately the quality of experiences that influence a new
teachers potential to become a competent and contributing member of the school
district. This study aims to: (a) understand the way a school district and a high
school formulate, implement, and sustain an induction program given the existing
boundaries of district and school cultures; and (b) assist district and high school
induction leaders in their efforts to further the development of new staff and
mentors. Understanding and then articulating the influences that school district
culture and high school culture have on induction processes will contribute to the
body of literature on teacher quality. By providing periodic feedback to induction
5


leaders and participants based on observational data, interview and survey data,
and my experiences as a mentor and staff developerI will be able to assist district
and high school induction leaders in their efforts to further the development of new
staff and mentors.
Statement of Problem
Two variables that seem to have an extraordinary degree of relevance to
educational outcomes for children are the home environment (Epstein, 1995;
Comer, 1986; Coleman, 1966) and the quality of teaching in the classroom
(Sanders, 1998; Darling-Hammond, 1992). K-12 educational institutions have little
control over what their students experience in their homes or neighborhoods. Thus,
children arrive at school both at the start of and throughout the school year in
varying degrees of preparedness for classroom learning. Over time, the home and
community influences combine to both broaden and circumscribe opportunities for
students.
The quality of educational opportunities provided by schools and teachers
can have a profound effect on the learning of children. In fact, the quality of the
teacher appears to be the single greatest factor in predicting the childs measurable
learning gains in K12 education (Darling-Hammond, 2000; Sanders, 1998).
Consequently, public educational institutions, as promoters of both democratic and
egalitarian principles, should attend carefully to the domain where they have power
6


to influence, namely, teacher quality. Students taught by well-trained teachers
demonstrate larger achievement gains in math and reading than those taught by less
trained teachers (Darling-Hammond, 2000). Additionally, carefully prepared
teachers are more effective in guiding and encouraging individual student learning,
planning productive lessons, and diagnosing student problems (Darling-Hammond,
1992). Conversely, teachers less prepared to teach are also more likely to bum out
and quit the profession (NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education, 2000;
Fideler & Haselkom, 1999). Thus, it makes sense to help prepare teachers as much
as possible both at the commencement of their careers and throughout the course of
their careers. Carefully designed induction programsimplemented and sustained
within educational cultures committed to student learningcan address both the
psycho-social needs of teachers and the requisite professional competencies that
facilitate learning for all students (Holloway, 2001; Brennan, Thames, & Roberts,
1999; Arnold, 1998).
The challenge for educational leaders, then is how to best formulate,
implement, and sustain an effective induction program given the existing boundaries
of district and school cultures. Systems theorists contend that all parts of a system
are inextricably interrelated with the other parts of the same system. They also
contend that systems function for the purpose of self-perpetuation, and this usually
requires actions to maintain equilibrium and/or the status quo. Taken together, these
ideas suggest that an induction program, no matter how well-conceived and staffed,
7


is unlikely to either alter the fundamentals of schooling or augment the learning that
occurs, unless it is integrated with the dominant programs and practices at the
school or school district. The cultures of school and school districti.e., the
dominant programs, practices, rituals, values, and beliefs that distinguish them-can
profoundly affect the shape an induction program takes, the type of efforts put forth
by the participants, and the outcomes of both the program and relationships alike.
Conversely, and consistent with systems theory, the induction program and the
patterns of relationships that grow from it, ought to exert a reciprocal influence on
school and district cultures. In a sense, what comes around goes around, although at
any moment it can be difficult to discern where or whether something or someone is
coming or going.
In order to gauge the potential for an effective induction program1 it will be
necessary to explore: (1) School and district culture, which consist of the ingrained
norms, thinking, and patterned behaviors that characterize the system and determine
its boundaries; (2) a district induction program, including its structures, staffing, and
methods of operation; (3) a schools induction program within the district, including
its structures, staffing, and methods of operation; and (4) constraints and
opportunities for growth and learning perceived by new staff and by mentors. Allen
1 By effective I mean the program provides new teachers with the necessary supports to enable them
to both survive the first year and develop some personal confidence and professional competence;
additionally, an effective program will tap multiple sources of support-departmental colleagues,
administrators, formal mentors, etc.and will provide benefits for both new staff and induction
agents alike.
8


and Hoekstra (1992) cautioned that an inherent problem in research is the failure to
appreciate the inter-level relationships among systems: "For any level of
aggregation, it is necessary to look both to larger scales to understand the context
and to smaller scales to understand mechanism; anything else would be incomplete"
(p. 8). This study will first examine one districts induction program in depth, then
widen the scope of illumination to the school district and one district high school
larger scales which provide context. Both the district culture and the high schools
culture will interact with and influence the induction system within their own
boundaries. Next, this study will explore constitutive parts or subsystems of the
induction programinduction coordinators, school administrators, teachers,
mentors, mentees, and the dyads they composein order to better comprehend the
mechanisms of the induction program. By examining the district induction
program, the cultural contexts in which it operates, and individual participants
whose beliefs, decisions, and behaviors influence program functioning, it will
become easier to determine the extent to which a program achieved its objectives.
Context for This Research
Since the 1980s, public policy makers have increasingly accepted mentoring
as an answer to problems affecting educational systems. The popularity of
mentoring in corporate America was one stimulus for this (Wunsch, 1994; Little,
1990). The increasing calls of educational researchers to address the lack of
9


emotional and professional support for new teachers was another stimulus for this
policy thrust (Feiman-Nemser, 1996). By 1996, twenty-five of the states had
mandated mentoring programs for their public schools (Halford, 1999). But states,
as well as the local school districts that fund most induction programs, ultimately
must weigh the potential benefits of mentoring against the costs of such programs.
Thus a persistent question that each district or school must address is: what
resources, financial and human, should be allocated to support mentoring activities
and programs?
Embedded as they are in the cultural norms and induction programs of the
school districts, the mentoring programs are aptly pondered from an ecological or
systems conceptual framework. This framework suggests that to understand the
dyadic mentoring relationships, it is necessary to understand the confluence of
relationships both that impinge indirectly upon members of the dyad, and that
impinge directly on dyadic membersi.e., those with their teaching colleagues,
school administrators, and central office administrators. Systems theory suggests
that all of these relationships are in part manifestations of the cultural contexts of the
district and schools. So if one closely examines, within a district(a) educators
ingrained assumptions and beliefs, (b) the recurring patterns of behavior and ritual,
(c) the tacit and articulated operating norms, and (d) the historical antecedents of
any policy or program one would have a deeper understanding of what forces aid
or impede the creation and maintenance of the policy or program. This study will
10


explore these cultural forces common to schools and school systems in order to
understand how they influence induction and teacher mentoring relationships in
public high schools.
Mentoring programs today fall on a continuum from unstructured to highly
structured (Bush, Coleman, Wall, & West-Bumham, 1996; Debolt, 1992).
Mentoring programs are instituted at different levels of organization, state education
departments, school districts, and individual schools, and these institutions fund and
oversee the implementation of the programs. Implemented programs tend to be
more or less integrated into the existing human resource/staff development
programs in schools and school districts. In light of these variables, and in light of
state mandates for mentoring programs, there are thousands of mentoring programs
throughout the United States today. Given the fact that there are only a few groups
of people who could reasonably mentor new teacherse.g., teachers, administrators,
retired teachersprograms will typically share common characteristics or formats.
For example, the full-time mentoring format consists of mentoring performed by
expert teachers who are released from their teaching duties to devote their full
efforts to the task of mentoring new teachers. While not common, this mentoring
format was utilized by 12% of a sample of 1362 new teachers in a recent induction
study (Meagher, 2000). The most common formal mentoring format consists of
mentoring done by teachers who teach full time at the same school site as the
mentee: some teach in the same subject or grade level as the new teacher, some do
11


not. Additional formats include mentoring by educational specialists, mentoring
performed by retired teachers, and mentoring by school administrators. The most
common format used by Colorado high schools in Pascal County public schools is
mentoring by teacher colleagues (Meagher, 2001).
The array of mentoring programs and program formats just described should
not be interpreted as causes of a new teachers success or failure in a school and
school district. In the broader scheme of schooling, mentoring activities involve
formally assigned mentors, informal mentors, administrators, and the mentees. But
these activities consume only a small fraction of a new teachers time and attention.
New teachers are typically trying to survive the reality check that is the first year of
teaching (Tomlinson, 1995; Veenmen, 1984); they are immersed in the tasks of
making sense of and learning to negotiate school norms (Halford, 1998). They are
getting connected socially to near-age colleagues (Jambor, 1995), wrestling with
issues associated with student management, grading, and developing lesson plans
(Blair-Larsen 1998), and learning how to deal with students parents (Friedman &
Farber, 1992). The sheer complexity of these tasks, coupled with the requisite
learning needed to make their work even moderately manageable, can overwhelm
the new teacher. And under duress, a persons capacity to learn diminishes
(Goleman, 1995); thus, a new teacher is less likely to benefit from useful
suggestions or advice from a more experienced colleague.
12


The new teachers pace of professional and personal development depend on
an array of factors beyond the control of a mentor. These include: the teachers
personality (Odell, 1987), the schema or mental models that define the roles they
visualize for themselves (Senge, 1990), their perceptions of how others in school
perceive them (Tomlinson, 1990), the teachers social support system outside of
school (Jambor, 1998), and the degree to which a district plans, organizes, and
effectively implements staff development activities (Licklider, 1997). A mentor,
therefore, can do excellent work with the mentee, only to see the mentee suffer
burnout, alienation, and/or attrition. Similarly, an induction program can be wisely
designed and carefully implemented, only to show disappointing results if it must
contend with school or district cultural forces that do not support the same ends
(Little, 1990). Hence, whether an induction program and its mentoring components
are successful at achieving their objectives is largely a function of school and school
district culture. This study will serve as one attempt to examine in depth the
context, content, and consequences of mentoring (Little, 1990, p. 297).
Conceptual Framework
The literature on K-12 teacher mentoring has grown enormously over the
past fifteen years. In a sense, mentoring has come in vogue for school systems
across the United States, in part because of the now common perception among
educators that mentoring is good for students, new teachers, and school staff in
13


general. But the literature is largely bereft of synthesis: it remains heavy with
prescription but light on theoretical framing (Hawkey, 1997).
A useful tool for synthesizing the literature in the area of K-12 teacher
mentoring is the open systems theoretical frame. This framework will serve as the
basis both for situating mentoring within its broader system contexts and for
illuminating some of the key principles that shed light on individual, interpersonal,
and group motivation. Systems theory suggests that it is impossible to understand
any relationship or organization without reference to the cultural contexts in which
they are embedded. This study will serve as an exploration of mentoring
relationships and teacher development bounded by the parameters of the school
district and high school cultures.
Figure 1.1
Model of Induction Embedded in
School Culture
Figure 1.1 depicts some of these relationships. Toward the center-left of the
14


diagram is an oval depicting the teacher new to the school and school district, i.e.,
the mentee, whose growth is the end of induction. The mentee is typically assigned
a formal mentor, but may also acquire informal mentors. The mentor is depicted by
the oval located center-right, and this study presumes the mentor too will undergo
some growth or learning. The mentor oval is smaller to suggest that induction
typically influences the development of the new teacher more than the mentor.
Systems theory suggests that interpersonal relationships are reciprocal. Mentee
growth or learning is influenced by mentor behaviors or inaction and mentor growth
or learning is affected by mentee behavior or inaction. The parallel structure of the
open, internal ovals represents this.
The internal ovals are also situated within a larger oval that represents the
influence of high school culture. Individuals who perpetuate and transmit to new
teachers dimensions of high school cultureideas, tacit beliefs and expectations and
norms for social interactionsinclude school administrators, departmental
colleagues, other teachers, and school auxiliary staff. These individuals and the
information they provide influence the assimilation process of new teachers into the
school community.
The high school experiences and assimilation processes are also affected by
the district culture in which the high school is situated. The school district
determines a wide array of policies and regulations, and influence employee
expectations; this influences the process of new staff assimilation and teacher
15


development. The school district influence is depicted by an oval encircling the
school culture. This highlights the notion that district culture constitutes a boundary
for limiting the actions of district schools. That the district oval lies even further to
the periphery of mentee and mentor growth also suggests that high school culture
wields greater influence over high school teacher growth than does district culture.
The vertical word, INDUCTION, bisects mentors and mentees, school
culture, and district culture. This suggests that induction is a dynamic process,
central to teacher learning, that occurs through the interaction of school district
officials and school staff (teaching and administrative), all of whom are guided by
cultural norms and expectations.
Studying teacher induction from a systems perspective requires a multi-level
investigational approach. Figure 1 depicts the phenomenon of teacher induction as
both a product of multi-level influencesdistrict culture and school cultureand as a
manifestation of the relationships between mentors and mentees. Framing induction
in this manner gives rise to general research questions to guide this investigation.
These questions, concerning the origins and features of the district induction,
perceived effects of district culture and high school culture, and inductions
perceived influence on mentors and mentees will be detailed in the following
section.
16


Research Questions
This study serves as an expansion of work I conducted for the Colorado
Partnership during the summer of 2001 for twelve Colorado school districts.
Results from the New Teacher Induction Survey sponsored by the Colorado
Partnership afforded school districts an opportunity to understand new teachers
perceptions of their induction experiences. Aggregated data from this survey
suggested that the district-led and school-led efforts to induct new staff were
generally concerted and helpful. Disaggregated data suggested that the format that
mentoring tookfull-time, on-site same subject/grade level, on-site different
subject/grade levelaffected the quality of new teachers mentoring experiences.
The most glaring weakness of this study was that the data generated were largely
devoid of context.
In contrast this study will explore the induction program of one large school
district, bounded by both the district culture and one specific high school culture, to
discover the influence these have on mentors and mentees as educational
professionals. The specific research questions are listed below. The questions this
study will address fall into four general categories: (1) The induction program origin
and evolutionary path; (2) perceived effects of school culture on induction
17


objectives; (3) perceived effects of mentoring on the mentor; and (4) perceived
effects of induction on novice teachers.
The specific research questions for this study are:
(1) The induction program origin and evolutionary path: a. How does a large
school district develop the specific induction program that it develops: what were
the purposes, research bases, and impetus for developing the program that was
developed? b. What are the characteristic features of the district induction program
and how have these features been altered or implemented in one district high
school?
(2) Perceived effects of school culture on induction objectives: a. What
facets of the districts culture seem to obstruct the induction program from meeting
its intended objectives, and what facets of the districts culture seem to enable the
induction program to meet its intended objectives? b. What facets of a high schools
culture seem to obstruct the induction program from meeting its intended objectives,
and what facets of a high schools culture seem to enable the induction program to
meet its intended objectives?
(3) Perceived effects of mentoring on the mentor: a. How do mentors
perceptions of the districts induction program (e.g., program objectives, implicit
and explicit expectations, and resource availability) affect their thinking about
themselves as educational professionals? b. What do mentors leam about
18


themselves and other teachers, both novice and experienced, as a consequence of
participating in a formal induction program?
(4) Perceived effects of induction on novice teachers: a. What are the
perceived effects of formal mentoring on novice high school teachers? b. What are
the perceived effects of informal mentoring on novice high school teachers? c. What
are the perceived effects of induction assistance provided by school administrators
and district personnel on novice high school teachers? d. What differences do
mentees perceive in both the forms and quantities of assistance available in the fall
and spring of their first year? e. To what extent does the novice high school
teachers self-efficacy (i.e., their beliefs about their own competence to deliver
instruction, manage their classes, and engage students) change between fall and
spring of their induction year? f. How do the perceived forms and quantities of
assistance rendered by the various induction agents relate to new teacher satisfaction
with induction? g. How do the perceived forms and quantities of assistance rendered
by the various induction agents relate to new teacher perceptions of self-efficacy?
Proposed Structure and Methodology
The questions above necessitated employment of a case study design in
which four forms of were collected: (1) primary source documentation, (2) field
notes, (3) interview, and (4) survey. First, investigating the origins and
development of the Pascal County induction program involved collecting both
19


interview data and data from a large number of primary source documents.
Examination of district records (internal memos, district publications, budget
documents, etc.) and interviewing persons involved with the origins and evolution
of Pascal Countys induction program allowed me to gain insight into the induction
program as a subsystem of the school district. With regard to data analysis for
primary source materials, I performed a document review of records that illuminated
program origins, and I performed descriptive analyses of budgetary and human
resource trends that related to program formulation and development. For interview
data I aggregated instances in the data that suggested either explanations for or
perceptions of program specifics.
Investigating the perceived effects of culture on induction processes and
participants required reliance on data in the form of field notestaken during and/or
after observing, interacting, and reflectinginterview data, and data from primary
source documents. Understanding district and school cultures required numerous
interviews to elicit the thoughts, experiences, and perceptions of a variety of district
and school leaders and induction participants. Examining culture involved
gathering demographic data, articulated district policiestacit and explicit, enforced
and unenforcedand examining district mandated and high school-specific
curricula- Central to the task of understanding high school culture were
observations of and interactions with both the members of the culture and the new
teachers who enter largely ignorant of cultural norms, symbols, and routines. With
20


respect to perceptions of how both district culture and high school culture enable
and/or impede attainment of the districts induction program objectives, data
analyses took two forms: (1) aggregating instances in interview data and field notes
that suggested recurring perceptions, explanations, cultural norms, and behaviors;
and (2) reviewing documentsschool district and high school artifacts and records
that suggested features specific to the district and high school cultures.
Third, the perceived effects of mentoring on the mentor were explored
through interviews conducted with Pascal County high school mentors and district
induction coordinators. Similar to interview analyses mentioned above, I utilized
the technique of categorical aggregation, that is, I aggregated instances in interview
data that suggested recurring perceptions, explanations, or beliefs.
Finally, to make sense of the perceived effects of induction on high school
teachers new to the district, data were collected in two forms: interview and survey.
Through conversations with mentors and mentees, important information was
collected about the impressions, beliefs, decisions, and observed behaviors of
teachers new to the profession. Interviews conducted with other school personnel
involved with informal mentoringdepartmental and non-departmental colleagues,
building resource teachers, and administratorshelped to fill gaps in understanding
other areas where assistance is provided for new teachers. These interview-
generated data, relevant to the first three research questions in this category
(perceived effects of both formal and informal mentoring, and perceived effects of
21


assistance rendered by school administrators and school district staff), were
aggregated by instances that suggest recurring patterns of perceptions, explanations,
or beliefs. Similarly, data collected from the survey instrument2 were analyzed to
discover and make sense of the descriptive trends that appear among them. This
same method of analysis will be used to address the survey data arising from
research question 4d (What differences do mentees perceive in both the forms and
quantities of assistance available in the fall and spring of their first year?) and 4e
(To what extent does the novice high school teachers self-efficacy, i.e., their beliefs
about their own competence to deliver instruction, manage their classes, and engage
students, change between fall and spring of their induction year?). Additionally,
because these questions aim to elucidate differences in teacher perceptions in the
fall and in the spring of the mentees first year of teaching, dependent groups t-tests
were run to gain insight into perceptual changes occurring over time. The last two
research questions of this study seek to make sense of the degree of relatedness
between perceived forms and quantities of assistance rendered by the various
mentors and induction agents and new teacher satisfaction with induction (question
4f) and new teacher perceptions of self-efficacy (question 4g). Simple correlation
analyses were used to discern the relative degrees of relatedness that exist among
categories of these data.
2 A hybrid survey device composed of elements from (a) the Whitaker Mentoring Survey
(Whitaker, 1999), (b) the Colorado New Teacher Induction Survey (Colorado Partnership, 2001), and
(c), the Ohio State Teacher Efficacy Scale (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 1999).
22


This study employed multiple instruments for data collection. This allowed
for both triangulation of data and the emergence of a more lucid picture of the
perceived influences that culture and different forms of induction assistance had on
the development of Pascal Countys new high school teachers.
Summary
This chapter has introduced the concept of teacher mentoringa relationship
between a teacher new to an institution and a more experienced member of that
institutionand situated this phenomenon within the contexts of school induction
and school culture. This chapter also highlighted the purposes of the study: (a) to
understand the way a school district and a high school formulate, implement, and
sustain an induction program given the existing boundaries of district and school
cultures; and (b) to assist district and high school induction leaders in their efforts to
further the development of new staff and mentors. Additionally, this chapter
introduced systems theory as the conceptual framework upon which this study is
based, and it promulgated the specific research questions that will drive this inquiry.
Finally, this chapter introduced the research methodologies that will be used to
pursue answers to the research questions.
Subsequent chapters of this thesis will appear in formats typical to most
dissertations. Chapter two will review the literature on teacher induction and the
contexts in which this process occurs. Chapter Three will explain in depth the
23


research methodologies of this study. Chapters Four through Eight will present the
results of the study. Chapter Nine will present the studys conclusions, limitations,
and proposed recommendations for district and high school induction.
24


CHAPTER TWO
LITERATURE REVIEW
Background
The purpose of this literature review is to summarize and synthesize key
literature on teacher mentoring, school induction, and school systems that determine
the boundaries for both of these phenomena. This review will explore meanings and
activities associated with these topics, and it will illuminate the history, policies,
trends, and parties involved with mentoring K-12 teachers, under the auspices of
both induction programs and K-12 school systems. Because a focal point of this
study is high school culture, this review will also delve into the unique facets of
high school culture that either enable or constrain new teacher growth. I will situate
the topics of mentoring and induction programs within the open systems conceptual
framework to signify that mentoring is a construct involving human relationships
defined by and embedded within specific cultural and organizational contexts.
The first part of this literature review will address the questions concerning
the meanings, purposes, origins, and conceptualizations of mentoring. Because
mentoring is part and parcel of a broader phenomenon, teacher induction, literature
on induction and induction programs will also be summarized. To clarify the
25


historical contexts within which mentoring and induction programs arise and
evolve, this part of the review will address the question of the history and influential
policies relevant to both mentoring K-12 teachers and induction programs. This
first part of the literature review will conclude with an examination of several key
conceptualizations of mentoring, upon which much of the research in the field has
been grounded.
The second part of this review will introduce the open systems conceptual
framework, a model that helps explain district and high school systems, and the
model that provides structure for the current study. The framework will be
elucidated in general terms, and several of the key systems principles associated
with educational systems will be explained.
The third part of this review will address educational systems. First, this
part of the review will discuss the related political systems that constrain
educational systems. Second, it will examine the notion of culture, in general, and
school and school district cultures more specifically. Third, this part of the review
will discuss the possibilities for mentoring and induction program successes within
existing high school cultures. The chapter will conclude by summarizing the
literature reviewed and linking this to the studys central research questions.
26


Meaning and Purposes
Research in the area of mentoring K-12 teachersas opposed to mentoring
students or corporate employeesbecame increasingly common in the mid-1980s
(Hawkey, 1996; Thies-Sprintall, 1986). Spearheaded by American scholars such as
Odell (1987,1986), Daloz (1986), Little (1990), Huling-Austin (1992), and Feiman-
Nemser (1996), and complemented by the efforts of British educational scholars
such as Maynard and Furlong (1993) and McIntyre and Hagger (1996), mentoring
research consistently explored the roles of mentors and mentees, mentor behaviors
and attitudes that might conduce toward new teacher learning, and the nature of
formal programs and the extent to which these could stimulate teacher development
and boost teacher retention rates (Fideler & Haselkom, 1999; Little, 1990). Several
of the early writings in the mentoring literature (Wildman, Magliaro, Niles, & Niles,
1992; Little, 1990; ODell, 1987) identified common purposes of mentoring,
including: (a) providing emotional support and encouragement, (b) providing
information and guidance with respect to the school and/or school district policies
and routines, (c) providing information and guidance with respect to tasks and
duties specific to teaching, and (d) facilitating the development of less experienced
teachers to enhance their capacity for promoting greater student learning in a variety
of ways and circumstances. Scholars believe that achieving these purposes
27


contributes to other significant ends: (a) reduced teacher attrition (National Council
on Teacher Quality, 2001; Whitacker, 2000; Odell & Ferraro, 1992; Brissie,
Hoover-Dempsey & Bassler, 1988), increased job satisfaction (Guide to Developing
New Teachers, 2000; Tomlinson, 1995; Odell & Ferraro 1992), teacher efficacy
(Odell & Ferraro, 1992), the development of community (Bryk & Driscoll, 1988),
and the growth of student learning and achievement (Darling- Hammond, 2000,
1997; Ashton & Webb,1986).
Within this framework of purposes, different scholars defined mentoring in
different ways. Darling-Hammer (1985) defined mentoring as the process by
which you are guided, taught, and influenced in your life's work in important ways
(p. 42). To Kay (1990), mentoring is "...a comprehensive effort directed toward
helping a protege develop the attitudes and behaviors (skills) of self-reliance and
accountability within a defined environment" (p. 53). According to Alleman,
Cochran, Doverspike, and Newman (1980), mentoring is "a relationship in which a
person of greater rank or expertise teaches, guides, and develops a novice" (p. 329).
Anderson and Shannon (1988) viewed mentoring as a nurturing process in which a
skilled or more experienced person, serving as a role model, teaches, sponsors,
encourages, counsels, and befriends a less skilled or less experienced person for the
purpose of promoting the latter's professional and/or personal development (p.38).
The Mentoring Leadership and Resource Network (Hicks, 2001) defined mentoring
as the process by which individuals share their experience, knowledge, and skills
28


with a protege to promote their personal and professional growth. Carmin (1989)
provided a comprehensive definition of mentoring: .a complex, interactive
process occurring between individuals of differing levels of experience and
expertise which incorporates interpersonal or psycho-social development, career
and/or educational development, and socialization. (p. 9). These definitions align
with the purposes of mentoring stated above. For the purposes of this study I will
incorporate portions of the definitions stated above and wed them to the open
systems conceptual framework. I define teacher mentoring as a process
characterized by complex social interactions, nested in organizational cultures,
among people with different levels of professional and life-experience, and directed
toward the professional and personal development of participants, especially those
relatively new to the school.
The previous definitions and declared purposes of mentoring suggest
important implications for those who mentor. The mentor is ideally one who: (a) is
willing to help (Kay, 1990); (b) possesses maturity and knowledge (Whitacker,
2000); (c) is able to lead, guide, and advise a less experienced person (Darling,
1985); (d) is able, because of their sensitivity and skill, to motivate students
(Tomlinson, 1995; Neal, 1992); (e) can both demonstrate and articulate the complex
behaviors and contexts in which teaching occurs (Giebelhaus & Bowman, 2000;
Rowley, 1999; Tomlinson, 1995; Good, & Brophy, 1994; Neal, 1992); (f) is open to
ideas and new practices (Carney & Hagger, 1996); (g) possesses a range of
29


strategies for helping others (Wildman, Magliaro, Niles, & Niles, 1992), and (h) can
foster a personal and supportive relationships with colleagues (Veenam & Renter,
1999). Given the inherent constraints associated with K-12 teacher mentoring-e.g.,
lack of time, physical distance between mentor and mentee, lack of mentor training
(Little, 1990), it is unlikely that many mentors achieve all of the ideals listed above.
But this is not necessary, for the success of any new teacher within a school district
is largely a function of many interacting variables: e.g., the characteristics of the
beginning teacher, the structure, features, and contexts of the mentoring program
(Huling Austin, 1990), the school environment (Anderson & Shannon, 1988), and
funding and administrative support (Fideler & Haselkom, 1999). Relying on a
network of individuals for induction help [termed a mentoring mosaic by Darling
(1985)], can accelerate the process by which new teachers learn the culture of the
school, augment their capacity for promoting learning, and grow in confidence and
competence as educational professionals. Little (1990) affirmed this point when
declaring that given the structural and cultural constraints on mentoring, its
salience is likely to depend on the degree to which it is congruent with other forms
of support in the lives of beginning teachers (p. 361).
The other forms of support Little alluded to above are commonly understood
as facets of teacher induction, a concept similar to mentoring. Mentoring in K-12
education refers to the activities that are shared between a more experienced
member of an institution or community and a relative newcomer who can benefit
30


from guidance and support in numerous ways: skill development, information
acquisition, psycho-social development, and emotional support. Mentoring
typically occurs informally (Tomlinson, 1995): people who appear new, troubled,
lost, or struggling find others or are found by others who have the information,
experience, and inclination or a need to nurture. However, in the last fifteen years
numerous formal mentoring programs have evolved, often including formally
assigned and carefully selected mentors (Blair-Larsen, 1998). Induction refers to a
more comprehensive school or school district plan or program intended to help
assimilate new teachers into the existing culture, address their learning needs, equip
them for careers as successful educators, and provide them with important system
and resource-related information.
The interpersonal and confidential nature of formal mentoring, coupled with
the informal mentoring that occurs between inductee and other school colleagues,
suggest that district induction leaders have only limited influence over the new
teacher. When the objectives or guidelines of an induction program run counter to
the norms of school culture, it is likely that the norms (the expected rituals,
automatic and patterned behaviors) of the school environment will trump whatever
lessons the induction program formulators intended to convey (Ayers, 2001).
Additionally, both mentor and mentee bring personal histories, unique experiences,
personality traits, and imbedded schemas (ways of knowing and perceiving)
influence whether the program goals of mentoring will be achieved (Giebelhaus, &
31


Bowman, 2000; Cohen, Steele, & Ross, 1999). Given that schools, individuals,
and relationships are complex, often unpredictable, turbulent, and driven by non-
rational factors(Evans, 1996, p. 8), there is little reason to expect particular results
from mentoring or induction inputs.
Different definitions of mentoring and the diverse mentoring roles
previously described provide some foundation for understanding the array of
mentoring formats and induction programs that began proliferating in the 1980s.
Since 1990 state and local educational policy-makers in the United States, have
embraced induction programs as essential component of teacher professional
development. An examination of the history and policies connected with induction
will shed light on this.
Historical and Policy Perspectives
The term mentor has its origins in the Greek epic, The Odvssev. Mentor is
the loyal friend of Odysseus, who entrusted Mentor with the responsibility of
educating, protecting and guiding his son, Telemachus, while he traveled and battled
across the Mediterranean world. Though the relationship ended when Telemachus
achieved manhood, the Goddess Athena later appeared to Telemachus in the form of
Mentor to guide the young man (Hicks, 2001). Cultures around the world have
developed their own nomenclature for this role of trusted, wise, and older advisor.
Guru. Abba. Teacher. Master, and Professor are terms used to denote a similar
32


relationship between one with superior knowledge or wisdom and one who could
benefit from their tutelage.
There is ample reason to believe that mentoring is an extension of instinctive
and learned social behaviors like caring, nurturing, teaching, and loving. Similar to
the function of the family, mentoring plays an integral role in the process of
transmitting human culture between elders and less experienced members of the
cultural group (Levinson, 1978; Erikson, 1950). Mentoring relationships often arise
spontaneously when people find themselves together in particular social contexts
(Tomlinson, 1995). Therefore, prior to the emergence of the first officially labeled
induction or mentoring programs, mentoring happened, informally, as teachers
working in close proximity to each other gravitated toward one another for
companionship, support, guidance, and information.
The impetus for the creation of formally structured mentoring programs in
education came partially from corporate practices in vogue in the 1970s and 1980s
(Wunsch, 1994). Corporate, organizational, and leadership theorists (Deming,
1986; Bennis, 1985; Schein, 1985; and Argyris & Schon, 1978) emphasized the
potential contributions that the well-trained and adaptive learner could play in a
corporations success. Scheins (1978) work specifically addressed particular roles
mentors play: teacher, confidant, sponsor, role model, developer of talent, protector,
and successful leader. In the 1980s the literature on the benefits of corporate
mentoring expanded. That corporate emphases have permeated educational culture
33


is certain: the language increasingly common to educational settingsbest practices,
classroom efficiency, competitive schools and accountability svstemsall speak to
this influence. But unlike the private sector, school systems rarely possess the
levels of financial resources to invest in their programs (House, 1998). And unlike
the corporate mentoring initiatives that have typically attempted to prepare proteges
for ascendancy on the corporate ladder, K-12 teacher mentoring prepares new
teachers for an egalitarian organizational structure (Little, 1990).
In addition to corporate influences, two additional concerns spurred the
development of formalized induction programs in American schools in the 1980s:
(1) concern with the apparent high rates of attrition among school teachers, and (2)
concern that the quality of the teaching force was adversely affecting the capacity of
graduates to contribute to the economy (Blair-Larsen, 1998; Little, 1990; Brissie &
Hoover-Dempsey, 1988). Reasons for the high attrition rates-estimated between
20-30 % after 3 years, and between 40-55% after 8 years (Meade, 1996; Head,
Reiman & Thies-Sprinthall, 1992)included limited incentives for teachers, ill-
conceived hiring practices and induction programs, inadequate professional
development, limited support for beginning teachers, and insufficient time allotted
for planning (Darling-Hammond, 1997). Reports of professional dissatisfaction
among teachers coincided with reports of the publics growing dissatisfaction with
American public schooling. Tynack and Cuban (1997) found that public opinion
polls revealed a consistent and dramatic drop in public confidence in the schools in
34


the 1970s and early 1980s (p. 31). In this atmosphere Sprinthall (1986), echoing
policy-maker concerns of the 1980s, urged that control of teacher education and
induction shift away from the universities and toward veteran teachers situated at
the schools. Thus, the movement to create and implement induction and or
mentoring programs at the school and school district levels paralleled other
educational reform initiatives in the 1980s (Feiman-Nemser, 1996). By the second
half of the1990s, approximately half of the states had provided resources for either
creating or sustaining new teacher mentoring programs (Halford, 1999; Bonelli
1999).
The number and variety of mentoring programs and initiatives in public
education make generalizations of mentoring difficult (Sweeny, 2001).
Nevertheless, Ganser found that distinctive trends in programs originating in
different time periods. Earlier or first-generation mentoring programs (in the
1980s), were characterized by optional participation, for only one year, with a single
mentor paired haphazardly with a new teacher. Second-generation programs
(arising in the 1990s) typically last more than one year and mandate participation.
These latter programs match proteges with a number of mentors who provide
assistance in different areas of expertise, and attend more closely to the systemic
issues that influence the effectiveness of new teachers (NEA Foundation for the
Improvement of Education, 2000).
35


Several states-Califomia, Connecticut, and Kentucky- have implemented
research-supported mentoring programs for all teachers new to the state. California
sponsors the Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment Program (BTSAP) in all
school districts (Halford, 1999), and its teachers receive intensive support, on-going
training, and continuous feedback in the first few years of their employment.
Studying the Californian program, Recruiting New Teachers, Inc. (2000) found that
teachers who receive systematic supports remain in the profession at significantly
higher rates and develop instructional proficiency faster"(p.6). A 91% retention rate
of teachers after 5 years of completing the BTSAP attests to this assertion.
Connecticut increased induction spending by 300 million in 1986 (Dozier &
Bertotti, 2001) and established some of the highest teacher performance standards in
the nation for new teachers. Connecticuts program includes intensive mentoring
support for guiding teacher development in all teaching domains, and requires
teachers to demonstrate meeting a battery of teaching standards within a three year
period before receiving their licenses (Little, 1990). Kentucky also committed
significant financial resources to facilitating development of new teachers. Program
highlights include: mandatory participation of first year teachers, collegial mentor
teams to support development in multiple teaching domains, careful focus on
analyzing student learning dynamics, and periodic assessments to gauge progress
and determine areas where growth is needed (Brennan, Thames, & Roberts, 1999).
Parts of Kentucky, faced with even greater attrition problems, extended mentoring
36


into the second, third, and fourth years. In Pulaski County, KY, attrition rates
declined 40% after extended mentoring took hold (National Council on Teacher
Quality, 2000).
Conceptualizations of Teacher Mentoring
The states mentioned above chose to divert higher levels of human and
financial resources into induction programs. While prosperity levels influences
such choices, availability and validity of information plays a role in informing
induction policy decisions. With this in mind, we return to literature relevant to
teacher mentoring and induction programs. It is a body of literature replete with
programmatic prescription and description (Hawkey, 1997), but deficient in
theoretical conceptualization (Hawkey, 1997; Little, 1990). Not surprisingly, a
common language to describe mentoring has yet to fully emerge. Likewise, a basis
for interpreting current thinking and for grounding future thought has yet to fully
emerge. After reviewing the existing conceptualizations, a systems perspective will
be proffered to address conceptual deficits in the literature germane to mentoring.
Stages of Teacher Growth
The literature on teacher mentoring can be categorized by emphases. Much
of the literature emphasizes the processes and stages of teacher growth to explain
mentoring dynamics. Another facet of the literature emphasizes the characteristics,
37


behaviors, and attitudes of mentors to illuminate mentoring dynamics. A related
theme in the literature focuses on the nature of learning (for both adults and
children) to comprehend challenges likely to beset new teachers. One final trend in
the mentoring literature involves conceptualizing mentoring as a function of the
personal, social, and organizational contexts that bound human relationships within
educational settings. This last trend suggests the open systems model that will serve
as the conceptual framework for this study.
One of the more common conceptualizations that undergirds mentoring
studies emphasizes the process of development that occurs in either the new teacher
(mentee/protege) or the mentor-teacher. The stages of teacher development
highlighted in literature have frequently addressed: (a) the changing needs and
concerns experienced by teachers as they pass chronologically through the
profession (Dodd, 1995; Hall & Hord, 1984), (b) the cognitive changes and models
use for their work (Berliner, 1987), and (c) the behavioral skills teachers employ at
different times in their careers (Hawkey, 1997; ODell, 1987). Often, the stage
theorists blend several or all of the emphases mentioned above.
Hall and Hords (1984) model of stages of concern have had a significant
influence on research in the area of mentoring. By stages. Hall and Hord referred to
the particular state of needs and fears common to many teachers at some stage of
their career. Wildman et al. (1992) identified five domains of beginning teachers'
concerns that could be addressed by different mentoring activities. Dodd (1995)
38


also identified five stages of teachers concerns, ranging from the initial stage of
confusion, chaos, and survival, to the final stage of self-actualization.
Another group of stage theorists have emphasized the cognitive or
behavioral patterns common to teachers at different phases of their careers. Berliner
(1987) identified five levels of teacher developmentnovice, beginner, competent
teacher, proficient teacher, and expertand emphasized the cognitive processes
linked to the expanding repertoire of teacher skills. Berliner and other theorists
(ODell, 1987; Tomlinson, 1990; Glassberg 1987) suggested that young teachers
tend initially to rely on simple, rigid, and uncreative patterns of thought; however,
with experience, teacher capacity for analytic, flexible, and synthetic reasoning
increased, until teachers became masters of classroom improvisation and contextual
adaptation. Tomlinson (1990) argued that the goal for mentoring programs is to
develop late stage teachers who tend to be adaptive in teaching style, flexible,
tolerant, and able to employ a wide range of teaching models(p. 125).
Stage theorists share the assumption that identifying a teachers current
stage will permit the application of a particular set of responses or supports that will
enable the teacher to move on to higher stages of teacher competency (ODell,
1987). This same assumption also applies both to the stages of mentor development
(Tomlinson, 1990) and the stages of mentoring relationships between mentor and
mentee (Brooks, 1996; ODell, 1987).
39


Mentor Functions and Styles
Much of the K-12 mentoring literature emphasizes the impact that mentor
attitudes, behaviors, and functions have on meeting the needs of new teachers.
Anderson and Shannon (1988) analyzed the functions mentors fill and concluded
that mentoring is a nurturing process in which a skilled or more experienced
person, serving as a role model, teaches, sponsors, encourages, counsels, and
befriends a less skilled or less experienced person for the purpose of promoting the
latter's professional and/or personal development.(p. 4). Their model identifies the
relational attributes of the mentor to menteerole model, nurturer, and care-giver;
additionally, their model highlights functions of mentoring-teaching, sponsoring,
encouraging, counseling, and befriending. Cohen (1995) similarly conceptualized
mentoring as a process contingent upon the mentors ability to fulfill multiple
functions: (a) relational focus (display of empathy, active listening, acceptance and
trustworthiness), (b) informational focus (provides and shares information relevant
to the mentees personal, educational, and career goals), (c) facilitative focus (helps
mentee investigate current assumptions, ideas, and beliefs and helps them develop
alternative views and options regarding education), (d) confrontative focus
(challenges a mentees explanations for or avoidance of decisions and actions
relevant to their development (p. 22), and (e) mentor model (serves as role model
40


to mentee). Other models emphasizing the roles and attitudes that accompany
mentor functions include those of Camey and Hagger (1996), Tomlinson (1995),
Wildman at al. (1992), Huling-Austin (1990) and Odell (1987).
Related to the literature on mentor characteristics is the literature that
focuses on styles of mentoring. Huling-Austin (1990) conceptualized mentoring as
a process determined by three styles of mentoring responder, colleague, and
initiator. Dalozs (1990) conceptualization of mentoring behaviors, specifically
support and challenge, focuses heavily on the outcome combinations these
engender. He contended: (a) that high support mixed with low challenge generally
leads to mentee feelings of confirmation, but not motivation to develop further; (b)
low support but high challenge generally leads to the mentees retreat from learning;
(c) low support and low challenge will induce mentee stoppage of growth; but, (d)
high support and high challenge will induce mentee professional and personal
development.
Mentoring as Context-Bound Learning
Because the ultimate goal of mentoring K-12 teachers is to assist them in
learning to become increasingly competent at teaching, numerous scholars have
addressed the art of teaching and the process of learning. In simplest terms,
Teaching is activity designed to promote learning....Learning is the acquisition of
capacities or tendencies through action or experience (Tomlinson, 1995, p. 11).
41


Central to the process of learning is the context for learning (Clarke, 2003;
Tomlinson, 1995). Both Vygotsky (1962) and Dewey (1938) believed that learners
learn best when the object of learning could be related in some meaningful way to
the contexts of the learners experience. Yowell and Smylie (1999), in conjunction
with Bronfenbrenner (1978), identified self-regulation, the product of reciprocal
person-context relations, as the ultimate end of education. Similarly, Kay (1990)
identified self-reliance as the end of learning for novice teachers. She argued that
mentors who promote the greatest learning are those who facilitate for their proteges
the process of developing attitudes, skills, and behaviors useful in multiple
environments and circumstances. In essence, whether the role one fills is mentor,
novice teacher, master teacher, administrator, or neighbor, the work is the same:
Teaching is a variation on the business of living.. .how we choose to
live our lives and how we choose to teach constitute essentially the
same work. Teaching is...an extension of who we are, and our
success as teachers is very much intertwined with our success as
human beings. (Clarke, 2003, p. 35)
One final trend in the mentoring literature involves the tendency to
conceptualize mentoring as a function of the personal, social, and organizational
contexts that bound human relationships within educational settings. Huling-Austin
(1990) suggested that induction success is a function of three interacting variables:
(1) the specific mentoring program, (2) the beginning teacher, and (3) the specific
context of the program. She recommended that programs be individualized to
address the needs of all participantsmentor, mentee, students, and school staff.
42


Wildman et al. (1992) analyzed mentoring roles, conditions, and activities and
concluded, similar to Huling-Austin, that the mentoring relationship is influenced by
the characteristics of the mentor and the beginning teacher, as well as the specific
school context factors. Little (1990) explored induction issues germane to school
culture and found that successful mentoring rested heavily on the (a) the proteges
willingness to be mentored (p. 313), (b) the culture of schooling in general, and (c)
school social norms in particular. These factors limit the impact that a mentors
personal qualities and behaviors could have regarding the development of new
teachers.
This part of the literature review has provided an overview of the particular
approaches and emphases taken by mentors and induction agents with respect to K-
12 teacher induction. This review has explored some of the current
conceptualizations that drive mentor research and practice, and it has situated both
mentees/inductees and induction agents-- formal and informal mentors, school
administrators, and teacher colleaguesin school contexts where they are all both
learners and teachers. This review also suggested that the success of an induction
program is inextricably tied to the culture of the institution in which program
occurs. All of this suggests that the phenomenon of mentoring is best understood
with reference to multiple levels of study: the individual person (e.g., new teacher,
mentor, or school administrator), dyads (e.g., mentor and protege), an individual
school, and the school district of which the school is a part. The current research
43


study investigates multi levels of one high schools induction program. The next
section of this review will explore the open systems framework that emphasizes
both multi levels of organizational structure and a myriad of relationships and
influences among the parts and levels of any social institution.
Open Systems Framework
History
Open systems theory refers to a body of ideas that account for patterns of
action, interrelationships, and traits shared by all living things, individually and
collectively. Roots of systems theory can be located in the early 20th century with
the emergence of relativity theory and quantum physics, both of which suggested
that things were much more interdependent and fluid than earlier assumed
(General Semantics, 2002). Beginning in the 1930s, systems thinking from a
variety of fields began to coalesce. Prominent among the originators of systems
thinking was the Viennese biologist, Bertalanffy (1968), whose organismic biology
served as an early model for explicating the principles of organization for natural
systems. Bertalanffy saw systems theory as a consequence of the burgeoning
complexities of the industrializing world. Rapid change and specialization in both
economics and the sciences rendered the dominant intellectual frameworkse.g.,
classical economics and Newtonian physicsless viable. Consequently, there
44


emerged a need for reorienting the sciences toward general system laws that apply
to any system of a certain type, irrespective of the particular properties of the system
and of the elements involved (Bertalanffy, 1968, p. 36). The interdisciplinary
efforts to ground the social, biological, and physical sciences culminated in the
Macys Conferences in the 1940s, intellectual gatherings where Western scientists,
scholars, and mathematicians collaborated initially to study human neurology, but
then expanded their focus to address the ideas of systems thinking and cybernetics
(Capra, 1996).
Systems Perspective Defined
In simple terms, A system is a collection of parts that interact with each
other to function as a whole (Kauffman, 1980, p.l). Systems vary in size and in
complexityfrom atoms and molecules to human and political institutions to
ecosystems and planets. Although systems usually contain some form of matter,
their being consists primarily in the pattern of organization inherent both in and
among their parts. It is even misleading to speak of systems as separate entities, for
systems always exist in relationship with other systems, both at similar levels of
complexity e.g. cell to cell, ant to ant, school to schooland at differing levels of
complexitymolecule to organ, person to school, and school to state government. 3
3 Whereas systems theory is focused heavily on the structural components and relational networks
among the parts a system, cybernetics focuses primarily on the control and communication of
information within and among systems.
45


Systems are distinguished as either closed or open. Closed systems are self-
regulating systems. They are self-contained, relatively static, and subject to the laws
of Newtonian mechanics (Kauffman, 1980). Thermostats, toilets, and refrigerators
are a few examples of closed systems. Open or living systems, exemplified by cells,
humans, and schools, maintain their existence by exchanging matter, energy, and
information with their environments (Miller, 1978; Lazslo, 1972; Bertalanffy,
1962). These exchanges permit systems to maintain balance among parts, e.g.,
appropriate levels of oxygen or glucose in the human body or equitable distribution
of power among groups in a society. This homeostatic process allows the system to
sustain its own existence while remaining a part of a larger system. In social
systems, the energy that fuels the system is information, or a difference that make a
difference (Bateson, 1978). Information is that which reduces the uncertainty
common to all systems, and it tends to move almost continuously in some form
along integrated causal circuits or feedback loops (Bateson, 1978). These feedback
loops either incline the system toward runaway change (reinforcing loops) or
stabilization (balancing loops) (Capra, 1996; Senge; 1990; Bateson, 1978). The
science that investigates and explains these processes and interactive patterns within
all living systems is called systems theory. This current study investigates
educational systems, and will specifically explore subsystems in declining degrees
of complexity: e.g., school district, high school, high school department, mentoring
dyads, and human participants.
46


This approach portrays all phenomena as either external (environmental) or
internal (biological, cognitive, or affective) (Allen & Hoekstra, 1992). Context, at
least with respect to living systems, is ...a collective term for all those events
which tell the organism among what set of alternatives he must make his next
choice (Bateson 1978, p. 289). To comprehend the mentee or mentor and how
they operate professionally, one must attend to both the external systems
(classroom, departmental colleagues, and school) and the internal factors that might
explain their responses to situations. Human systems act according to the internal or
external messages they process. What is of crucial importance for understanding
any human system is how that systemnew teacher, induction team, high school
staff perceives its total environment. Perception, then, and not objective
knowledge is the basis for responding within the systems framework. Therefore,
comprehending the information a teacher/system receives requires careful attention
to the perceptions of the teacher/system.
System Characteristics
Open systems are understood to be goal-seeking or purposeful (Clarke,
2003; Kauffman, 1980; Lazslo, 1972): their purpose is simply to maintain their own
existence. This process of self-maintenance is manifested in the cyclical patterns of
behavior common to each system. For example, I wake, shave, shower, eat, work,
and sleep, etc., in regular, if not precisely predictable, cycles. The system called
47


school has its own self-regulating cycles. For example, student population change
affects the budget, the budget affects staffing, the staffing affects class size, class
size affects learning dynamics, learning dynamics affect learning, learning affects
perceptions of quantity and quality of learning, and these affect state and local
budgetary decisions. While life- preserving can not be immediately inferred from
most school cycles, individual behavior within classrooms, schools, or district
offices suggests a powerful inclination to preserve either the system as it is or some
part of the system. The system, therefore, typically self-corrects. either to resist
change or to alter the change dynamic to maintain what the system currently does.
Control in systems is influenced by information flow and processing, and in
living systems the internal controls can be reset or reorganized to permit goal
attainment (Perrow, 1984; Miller, 1978). Living cells, for example, have genetically
determined internal controls that can adapt to changing environmental conditions.
Human internal systems of control consist of inherited biological functions,
conditioned behaviors, and schemas. Schemas are the mental models that allow the
individual to both organize and interpret experience, and anticipate and predict
change (Miller; 1978). Theses schemas include the individuals values, beliefs, and
knowledge and cannot be understood without the complement of emotions that
typically attend to the cognitive experiences of human existence. In more complex
system levels (groups and organizations), internal control is reflected in the shared
values, purposes, ideology, and social norms that provide group/organizational
48


boundaries (Schalock, Fredericks, Dalke, & Alberto, 1994; Miller, 1978).
Conceivable courses of action for a district, high school, department, or mentoring
dyad are aligned with the systems shared schemas. For example, school district
leaders ideologically opposed to the full immersion language instruction will have a
bias or cognitive constraint that limits the range of possible curricula it would
incorporate for district language instruction.
System Controls
Comprehending the internal controls of a system helps to gauge the systems
capacity for change. Boulding (1956) affirmed that system complexity correlates
positively with the number of options it has for responding successfully to external
change. This idea mirrors Ashbys Law of Requisite Variety; a model system or
controller can only model or control something to the extent that it has sufficient
internal variety to represent it (Heylighen, 1992, p.5). Ashbys law suggests why
experienced teachers, rich with schema for context-appropriate teaching, promote
much learning, and conversely, why new teachers endowed with few such schema
promote less learning.
External controls refer to the environmental circumstances that influence
what an organism can or cannot do as it seeks to achieve its purposes. Energy,
matter, and information connected to these either prompt the systems to respond
automatically--that is, according to some instinctual, reflexive response, or learned
49


response~or deliberately, after the system has processed the information and
weighed the risks and potential gains of an action (Miller, 1978). For example, the
school board may reduce technology funding in schools, thus limiting the potential
time students could spend learning computers. Without spending sufficient time
interacting with the environmental tool, the child will be less able to meet the goal
of computer skilled.
System Boundaries
The notion of system boundaries also holds relevance to the dynamics of
inter-system and intra-system information exchange. System boundaries are the
nexus pointsphysical, structural, or psychologicalbetween systems and
subsystems that can either aide or impede information transmissions (Wilden, 1987;
Miller, 1978; Bacharach & Aiken, 1977). Physical boundaries are relatively easy to
distinguish: a closed door, a wide river, or a police contingent suited in riot gear-
each have relevance to potential information movement. Structurally, both the
design of the human body and the organization underlying a corporation enable or
inhibit information flow among other system components: knee ligaments cannot
transmit pain messages to the appendix; factory workers located far from the
executives seldom communicate with these managers. In the realm of social
interaction, boundaries are harder to delineate. Nevertheless, they are of central
50


importance regarding the degree to which an individual or group exists in harmony
with its environment (Welchman, 1996).
Social boundaries have great relevance to school induction. The less a
person new to a culture understands the extant boundariese.g. cultural and
interpersonal normsthe more likely they are to misinterpret messages and
experience anxiety and alienation (Coupland, Wiemann, & Giles, 1991). The new
teacher must learn to read fast and accurately the messages that help delineate
school, departmental, and interpersonal norms/boundaries for expected behavior.
Induction agents can facilitate this learning process so that a new teacher can
become more rapidly integrated into the total school culture.
Relevance of Systems Perspective for Induction
A systems perspective permits an understanding of the human, interpersonal,
and cultural influences that impact the course of new teacher induction. The
systems emphasis is on the interdependence and co-construction of individuals and
organizations. The processes in which induction agents facilitate the growth of a
new teachers independence and competence permit them to work harmoniously
with colleagues in promoting the development of their students. That human
systems are inherently goal-seeking and self-stabilizing suggests that people
involved in induction work will naturally attempt to achieve some type of internal
stability (e.g. psychological comfort or collective harmony), and this will necessitate
51


learning and growth for all involved parties. This framework further emphasizes the
centrality of communication to achieving harmonious interdependencies among the
component systems human to human, group to human, or institution to group or
human. This processing is partially facilitated when teachers augment or adjust
their schema that allow them to better read environmental messages that delineate
their range of choices for both learning and influencing the learning of others. With
its emphasis on communication to discern the values, norms, artifacts, and tacit
assumptions that demarcate school boundaries and define school culture, the open
systems model suggests that exploration of school culture is crucial to
comprehending teacher induction.
Educational Institutions and School Culture
The Role of Political Systems
K-12 educational institutions are human systems designed for the purpose of
aiding the development of children and adolescents. They are comprised of
subsystems, and they are component systems of broader political and economic
systems. Because this review is concerned with induction dynamics as facets of
school systems, school systemsdistrict and K-12 school levelswill be addressed
both as subsystems of larger systems (e.g., state and federal governments) and as
institutional boundaries for induction systems.
52


Schools and school districts are bounded by the political systems of the
national and state governments. One level above the public school systems are state
governments. The states, by authority of the U.S. Constitution4, determine how
schools are to be established, organized, and maintained (Tynack, 1974). More than
any other factor, state funding determines the quantities of human, informational,
and material resources that will be available for educational purposes. When state
policy-makers are committed to particular educational programs, e.g., Colorados
legislative mandates requiring districts to have induction programs (Bonelli, 1999),
those programs will likely to proliferate throughout the school districts of the state
albeit not in the shape or form that policy-makers envisioned (Tynack & Cuban,
1997).
A massive system one level above state governmentthe federal
governmentalso influences public schools and public school districts. Large
federal outlays to public education, approximately 7% of public school funding
(Educational Commission of the States, 1998), coupled with federal legislation,
determine much of what schools may or may not do. Federal anti-discrimination
laws, gender and disability legislation, and labor statutes all act as constraints on the
range of choices available to school administrators. As long as the federal
4 The reserved powers clause of the Constitution (Article X) states that the powers not delegated to
the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States
respectively, or to the people.
53


government provides educational resources, it will continue to impose constraints
on schools.
Both the enormous size of the political systems that influence school
districts, and the large size of many school districts themselves, tend to engender
costs that reduce energy and resources that could otherwise be directed toward
teacher and student learning. To meet the information processing needs in a large
system more people, more government agencies, and/or more complex media are
required (Miller, 1978). To accomplish this, bureaucratic structures take shape.
While bureaucracy serves the necessary ends of information storage and system-
regulation, demands for rigid rule-compliance, contradictory policies, system
inefficiencies and system hierarchy tend to perpetuate feelings of alienation among
employees and those the system was originally formed to serve (Fine, 1996;
Morgan, 1990; Newmann, Butter, & Smith, 1989). In sum, a school or school
district that has to commit increasing resources to meet the demands of bureaucracy
has fewer resourcespersonal, material, or financialto commit to students and the
development of the teachers.
School Induction and School Cultural Norms
While the larger systems alluded to above influence the processes of
teaching and learning in schools, these processes are more immediately affected by
the contexts that shape individual school and school district cultures. To clarify,
54


contexts are the consciously or unconsciously perceived constraints or boundaries
that determine the range of possible human decisions and behaviors. Culture refers
to the patterns of human beliefs, values, expectations, emotions, and behaviors that
characterize social groups and institutions. Bolman and Deal (1991) identified two
aspects of culture: product and process: As product, it embodies the accumulated
wisdom of those who were members before we came. As process, it is continually
renewed and re-created as new members are taught the old ways and eventually
become teachers themselves (p. 256). Evans (1996) identifies several components
of culture: the artifacts and creations of the group, values, and, most important to
institutional and individual behavior, shared assumptions, which shape the way
group members perceive, think, and feel (p. 44). Schein (1985) underscored
Evanss emphasis on shared assumptions by defining culture as "a pattern of basic
assumptions, invented, discovered, or developed by a given group as it learns to
cope with its problems of external adaptation and integration...and taught to new
members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to their problems"
(p. 9). Culture, then, influences the boundaries for system behavior (Schalock et al,
1994), and as such it defines both the organization itself and the organizations
relationships to other systems.
In general, culture is inherently conservative (Schein, 1992): cultures will
tend to perpetuate themselves and to resist external influences for change if they
significantly counter extant cultural norms. School culture is powerfully resistant to
55


change (Evans, 1996; Dolan, 1994; Sarason, 1990; Little, 1990). Cuban (1990)
found that both the basic organizational structure and curricula of high schools in
the United States have remained constant throughout most of the 20th century.
Evans (1996) noted the recurring cycles of behavior, moods, and beliefs that
influence teachers and learners. In fact, so common are the features of school
culturetesting and grading students, order of classes for science instruction,
extracurricular activities, etc.that if they are absent, or if practices with similar
intents diverge too far from these cultural norms, parents would be alarmed and
skeptical of the school or a teacher (Cuban, 1990). School cultural norms, then, are
transmitted across time and bolstered by parental and teacher expectations.
One paradoxical norm embedded in the culture of American public
schooling is the school improvement norm. This recurring impulse in public
education is constantly articulated and sometimes carefully contemplated. Every
year schools, teachers, and administrators begin the reform ritual (Evans, 1996;
Sarason, 1990). Collaborative decision-making, open classrooms, mentoring
students, increased accountability, and interdisciplinary teaching come and go, again
and again (Cuban, 1990). Some assert, rather than making things better, reforms,
coming in staccato succession...have brought incoherence and uncomfortable
tensions (Tynack & Cuba, 1997, p. 82) to educational environments. Evans (1996)
found that the array and number of reforms, often mandated by those
administratively above teachers, have tended to reduce the receptivity of teachers
56


and school administrators toward educational innovations in general. They have at
least contributed to the resistance to any programs or requirements that must be
added on to the already complex array of commitments expected of teachers.
Assuming that many of the norms of public high schools are conservative
and counter the possibility of successful reform implementation (Gratch, 1998;
Feiman-Nemser, 1993; Little, 1990), what high schools characteristics typically
correlate with a schools capacity to accept and integrate innovations? And, what
facets of high school culture are likely to enable an innovation to achieve its
objectives?
Lighthouses (1983) explorations of high school culture led her to conclude
that good high schools were those that both faced and articulated their weaknesses
and developed prudent ways of attending to them. Along with Sizer (1992), and
Bryk and Driscoll (1988), she emphasized the importance of having a system of
shared values or a stable ideological stance that would enable them to resist
distractions that could undermine quality teaching and learning. Rogers and
Babinski (1999), Bryk and Driscoll (1998), Fine (1994), and Noddings (1984)
emphasized the need for an ethos of caring at the school, where faculty and staff
play roles in the lives of students that extend beyond the classroom. Bryk and
Driscoll (1998), and Fine (1994) additionally identified school size as being an
important variable related to nurturing and stable environments for learning.
Collaboration, interdependence, and reflective inquiry among colleagues are other
57


core components of good cultures (Feiman-Nemser, 1996; Evans,1996; Sarason;
1990; Newmann et al., 1989; Saphier & King, 1985). Newmann et al., (1989),
Evans (1996), and Sizer (1990) identified competent and focused administrative
leadership as indispensable to good school cultures. Finally, Newmann et al.,
(1989) identified teaching efficacy as an indispensable variable related to strong
school cultures.
There is one important caveat to the question of cultural traits that appear
conducive to mentoring success. School norms, regardless of the value judgments
of observers, provide comfort, clarity, and predictability for members of the culture
(Bolman & Deal, 1991). Hence, the more an innovation or reform is consistent with
school norms, the better its chance of being integrated with extant norms and the
culture as a whole; conversely, the more a reform counters or contradicts entrenched
school norms, the less it is likely to be integrated into the school culture. Induction
and mentoring programs, therefore, are likely to achieve their objectives to the
extent that the program objectives, routines, and operating assumptions align with
the norms of the high school or district for which they were intended.
This final section of the review identified some of the political systems and
influences that determine K12 school system constraints. Nested in bureaucratic
systems, and dependent on external forces for resources to achieve their purposes,
individuals do not have unrestricted freedom to act in ways they would deem most
beneficial to teaching and learning. At the same time, schooling in general is
58


bounded by norms that serve to resist the ever-present movements to reform school
itself. This section suggests that comprehending a school districts culture can help
explain policies that govern the actions of schools within district boundaries. And
comprehending a schools culture can help explain the common patterns of thought
and action that influence the course of teaching and learning among school
members. Understanding both the district culture and the school culture can
illuminate the potentials of an induction or mentoring program for achieving its
intended purposes.
Summary
This literature review has explained and summarized some key ideas and
developments regarding the meanings, purposes, and history of teacher mentoring
and induction. Mentoring was defined as a process involving complex social
interactions, nested in organizational cultures, among people with different levels of
professional and life-experience, and directed toward the professional and personal
development of participants, especially those relatively new to the school.
Induction was explained as the broader school or school district plan or program
designed to help assimilate new teachers into the existing culture, address their
learning needs, and equip them for careers as successful educators. The brief
history and policies of mentoring and induction revealed that both policy-makers
and school leaders have become increasingly committed to mandatory and
59


formalized programs funded by state and local governments over the last 12 years.
Policymaker confidence that new teachers develop teaching skill more readily with
more support, and that districts will suffer less attrition augers continued support for
this type of educational reform.
This review also summarized conceptualizations common to the area of K-
12 teaching induction, and offered a systems conceptualization as a framework
appropriate to address the question of how school systems, exemplified by one high
school culture and one school district culture, can influence high school induction
dynamics. Previous conceptualizations centered on processes and stages of new
teacher and mentor growth, mentor characteristics, behaviors, and attitudes, and the
processes of both teaching and learning in general. Another trend in the mentoring
literature that suggests the systems frame involves conceptualizing mentoring as a
function of the personal, social, and organizational contexts that bound human
relationships within educational settings. Organizational contexts are synonymous
with facets of culture, a central focus of this study.
The next section of this review introduced systems theory, the conceptual
framework for this study. Systems theory refers to a body of ideas that accounts for
patterns of action, interrelationships, and traits shared by all living things,
individually and collectively. Although systems usually contain some form of
matter, their being consists primarily in the pattern of organization inherent both in
and among their parts. Core concepts such as system controls, system boundaries,
60


and system information processing were all explained. Open or living systems
e.g., human beings, mentor and mentee dyads, and schoolsoperate in response to
both environmentally and internally-derived information that determines the limits
of system action. The systems framework implies that understanding human and
cultural processes require a grasp of human perceptions and related ideas and
schemas: for these determine the range of either institutional or group decisions and
actions.
The next section of this review summarized literature on educational
institutions as systems. First the influence of the state and federal political systems
that interact with schools was summarized. Next, the literature on school culture
was introduced, and it was explained that culture is both a product and a process: it
is comprised of artifacts, shared history, ideas, assumptions, and values, as well as
patterns of interacting, behaving, perceiving, understanding, and feeling.
The last section of this review explored the relevance of school culture to
school reform in general, and to induction and mentoring programs in particular.
Because systems, and school cultures which manifest them, act to conserve and
maintain themselves, resistance to change or reforms should be expected, especially
if those reforms counter the extant cultural norms of the educational institution.
This review also summarized and explained the key ideas upon which the
studys research questions are founded. With regard to the first category of research
questionsinduction program origin and evolutionary paththis review provided a
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historical and policy perspective for comprehending how induction programs arise
and are sustained by the application of human and financial resources. With regard
to the second category of research questionsperceived effects of school culture on
induction objectivesthis review has explained the general processes that govern
educational system operations, and elucidated the characteristics of school culture-
district or high schoolthat tend to facilitate or impede the harmonious adaptation of
mentoring and induction reforms. With regard to both the third and fourth
categories of research questionsperceived effects of mentoring on the mentor and
perceived effects of mentoring on novice teachersthis review has explained the
reciprocal flow of influence that occurs between two related systems, mentor and
mentee, and it has summarized conceptualizations of teacher development that
apply to the learning of new teachers and all induction agents: formal and informal
mentors, and administrators. Most importantly, this review has situated the
learning of new teachers within the multiple systemsboth immediate and
peripheralthat influence them. Systems principles suggest that a new teachers
capacity to stimulate learning for all children depends on the habits and schemas
they develop. Comprehending both new teacher perceptions of their school cultures
and induction agent perceptions of their roles, responsibilities, and mentees, can
yield insights into teacher potential to facilitate learning in others.
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CHAPTER THREE
METHODOLOGY
Background
The questions this study addresses fall into four general categories: (1) The
induction program origin and evolutionary path; (2) perceived effects of school
culture on induction objectives; (3) perceived effects of mentoring on the mentor;
and (4) perceived effects of induction on new teachers.
The specific research questions for this study are: (1) The induction program
origin and its evolutionary path: a. How does a large school district develop the
specific induction program that it develops: what were the purposes, research bases,
and impetus for developing the program that was developed? b. What are the
characteristic features of the district induction program and how have these features
been altered or implemented in one district high school?
(2) Perceived effects of school culture on induction objectives: a. What
facets of the districts culture seem to obstruct the induction program from meeting
its intended objectives, and what facets of the districts culture seem to enable the
induction program to meet its intended objectives? b. What facets of a high school's
culture seem to obstruct the induction program from meeting its intended objectives,
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and what facets of a high schools culture seem to enable the induction program to
meet its intended objectives?
(3) Perceived effects of mentoring on the mentor: a. How do mentors
perceptions of the districts induction program (e.g., program objectives, implicit
and explicit expectations, and resource availability) affect their thinking about
themselves as educational professionals? b. What do mentors leam about
themselves and other teachers, both new and experienced, as a consequence of
participating in a formal induction program?
(4) Perceived effects of induction on new teachers: a. What are the perceived
effects of formal mentoring on new high school teachers? b. What are the perceived
effects of informal mentoring on new high school teachers? c. What are the
perceived effects of induction assistance provided by school administrators and
district personnel on new high school teachers? d. What differences do mentees
perceive in both the forms and quantities of assistance in the fall and spring of their
first year? e. To what extent does the new high school teachers self-efficacy (i.e.,
their beliefs about their own competence to deliver instruction, manage their classes,
and engage students) change between fall and spring of their induction year? f.
How do the perceived forms and quantities of assistance rendered by the induction
agents relate to new teacher satisfaction with teaching and induction? g. How do
the perceived forms and quantities of assistance rendered by mentors relate to new
teacher perceptions of self-efficacy?
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These questions are many in part because of the open systems conceptual
framework that provides structure for the study, and because of my personal
experience and familiarity with induction dynamics and high school settings. To
understand the way a school district and a high school formulate, implement, and
sustain an induction program, given the existing boundaries of district and high
school cultures, it is necessary to carefully investigate teacher induction as a
subsystem of larger systemsschool and district systemsand as a macro system to
the human systems/induction participants. My experiences as a mentor, teacher
induction coordinator, staff developer, and high school teacher have led me to
wonder and to formulate questions specific to the topics of induction and mentoring.
This chapter will include the following components: (1) a rationale for the
methodological approach used for this study; (2) an explanation of both the high
school and school district sites where data were collected; (3) an explanation of the
population and sampling procedures; (4) a discussion of how I gained entry to the
study sites and my roles and responsibilities as a researcher interacting with human
subjects; (5) an elucidation of the multiple methods of data collection that were
employed; (6) an explanation of how data were recorded and managed; and (7) a
discussion of the procedures used for data analysis and for establishing internal
validity.
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Methodological Approach and Rationale
The research questions that drive this study delve into issues of school culture,
induction program history and evolution, and human perceptions and interpretations of
both school culture and high school induction. These diverse emphases suggest the use
of multiple research instruments to probe this studys range of questions. Records,
participant-observations, interviews, and surveys will be used to address the central
questions of the study. Case study is a research method that permits the researcher to
use multiple research instruments (Bassey, 1999) and methods of analyses for
understanding the features of a particular organization, group, or persons (Sturman
1994; Cohen & Manion 1989). Using multiple methods of investigation permit data
triangulationthat is, relying on multiple sources across time, space, and persons
(Krathwohl, 1998, p. 275). More importantly, the large number of data and data
sources permit the formulation of a more detailed picture of the influence that culture,
coupled with induction processes, has on new teacher and mentor perceptions.
Case Study
Case studies are characterized by their focus on a single unit of investigation
situated in contexts. These contexts may be hard to distinguish from the organizations
boundaries (Yin, 1994). Despite the challenges presented by ambiguous boundaries,
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case study researchers generally believe that understanding and illuminating the
dynamics of a particular case requires an in-depth investigation of the
interdependencies of parts and of the patterns that emerge (Sturman, 1994, p. 61).
When cases are organizations, they simultaneously possess both static and dynamic
characteristics. Probing the static and dynamic features of a particular organization can
help researchers both to understand the cases fundamental processes and to assist with
the formulation of generalizations about similar organizations (Yin, 1994). Hence, case
study is a suitable method for investigating a public school culture and the relationships
that both sustain and depict this culture.
Case study research has numerous purposes, and scholars have created
numerous labels to describe similar types of studies. Yin (1993) identified three
types of case studies: exploratory, explanatory, and descriptive. Stake (1995)
identified the two forms: intrinsic and instrumental. Bassey (1999) distinguished
among theoretic, evaluative and action research as forms of case study.
The current study is comprised of elements specified by all three authors. In
its rudimentary form, this is an instrumental, exploratory, and theory-seeking case
study. By instrumental, Stake (1995) meant a case study in which the particular
organization under investigation is presumed to represent a more general
phenomenon. Whereas this study can serve as a vehicle for providing school
districts with information about both their particular cultures and induction systems,
it is primarily intended to deepen the general knowledge base related to school
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culture and mentoring. In a similar vein this study is exploratory (Yin, 1993): it will
examine prominent featuresboth static and dynamicof one large school district,
in order to illuminate how the parts of the system interact. These formats of
instrumental and exploratory case study are part and parcel of what Bassey (1999)
called theory-seeking. This format strives to describe, interpret or explain what is
happening without making value judgments or trying to induce any change... the
aim is to give theoretical accounts of the topic.. .which link with existing theoretical
ideas (p.40). The theoretical ideas to which this case study will be linked are best
described as open systems theory.
One important virtue of theory-seeking case research is that it enables the
researcher to propose fuzzy generalizations (Bassey, 1999), or qualified judgments
of what might be expected to happen in circumstances and systems similar to the
case. I believe that educational research would be bereft of value if it lacked the
potential to improve the quality of student learning. Research that helps reduce the
uncertainty connected with intended policy outcomes, e.g. successful induction, has
value. And given the complexity of large educational systems studied, qualified
judgments may be as much as any researcher can expect.
Research Sites and Population
Data for this study were collected at: (1) the central administrative offices of
a large, predominantly suburban school district in Colorado, (2) one suburban
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district high school of approximately 1700 students, and (3) various other locations
where interviews were conducted and surveys were administered. The central office
of the school district was the repository of primary source records that I used to
trace the origins and evolution of the district induction program and to glean
insights into the district culture. This office was also a site where interviews were
conducted. Parker High School was the primary site from which data were
collected. Here the preponderance of my field notes were constructed after
interacting with staff, observing school rituals, and studying school artifacts.
Additionally, data were collected from interviews held at locations convenient for
interviewees. Finally data were created in the form of field notes, memos, and
contact summary reports that were written in a multitude of locations.
Thirty-two educators from the school and school district were interviewed
for this study. Interviewees, similar to documentary sources, were selected on the
basis of the information that I thought they might provide. This sampling approach
is known as purposive sampling (Krathwohl, 1997). People interviewed included
current central office administrators and induction coordinators (4), both former
high school principals and district administrators (4), instructional coaches (2), and
an array of persons from Parker High School: school administrators (3), department
chairs (2), informal and formal mentors (9), and inductees (8). Interviews were
usually conducted at quiet locations at the high school or central administration
building.
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Instructional coaches assigned to assist new staff collected survey data from
inductees at their high schools both in the fall and the spring. Forty-eight new high
school teachers participated in the survey component of this study in the fall, and 38
of these teachers participated again in the spring. Potential participants were
informed of the nature of the study, the benefits that might accrue to them and their
school district, and the anonymity that accompanies their participation. Participants
were paid $15 for their participation in the surveys.
Gaining Entry
A researchers ability to conduct educational research requires access to
educational systems. Entry points into the systems I studied were found initially
through my work for the Colorado Partnership for Educational Renewal.
Performing the statistical analyses and preparing the report for the New Teacher
Induction Survey of 2001,1 first came into contact with the districts induction
coordinator. In the fall of 20011 made telephone contact with the induction
coordinator requesting a meeting to discuss the limitations of the 2001 survey and to
discuss ways to boost the informational yield in a subsequent study. I believe my
work and experience as the induction coordinator and staff development leader at a
private high school enabled me to convey both knowledge of and appreciation for
the challenges unique to induction, mentoring, and high school interpersonal
dynamics. Telephone conversations and subsequent meetings with the induction
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coordinator led to acceptance of my proposal to study induction dynamics both as
they are influenced by district and high school cultures, and as they influence
mentors and mentees.
In June the district induction coordinator arranged for me to meet with the
principal of a large suburban high school. I met her assuming I would need to
establish my credibility and trustworthiness. She, however, had already investigated
who I was and had determined through conversations with mutual acquaintances
that I could be trusted. The principal and I immediately launched into discussions
of logistics, and we departed with the understandings that I might simultaneously
serve her staff in ways consistent with my expertise and experience, and that data
collected would be predominantly dictated by the relationships I developed with her
staff.
The Researchers Role
The value of my research for the school and school district depends on my
capacity to learn from participants meanings they attach to: (a) school and
classroom rituals, (b) relationships at the school, and (c) relationships with district
leaders. This search for the meanings attached to events, circumstances, and human
behavior dictated an ethnographic approach and the method of participant
observation. By building relationships with school staff, I was able to learn more
about the shared meanings they ascribed to events, circumstances, and human
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behavior. These shared meanings, Spradley (1997) finds, are the essence of culture.
At the same time, the relationships I established with people in different induction
roles allowed me to detect the nuances in interpretations of events, artifacts, and
behaviors that characterize different groups and individuals.
Through my work--as a high school teacher for more than twenty years, a
mentor for more than nine years, a mentor coordinator for three years, and as a
department coordinator for six yearsIve accumulated a wealth of experiences that
permit me to empathize and understand the challenges and frustrations of most
educators. As a consequence, gaining acceptance by members of the school staff
was not difficult. By candidly admitting my desire to leam from them, by
recognizing the inherent dignity in each induction participant, and by downplaying
any impression that I wanted to observe them as objects, I was able to participate in
their culture, make inquiries, and increase the power of my interviews to elicit
information and confirm or disconfirm inferences formed. I provided feedback to
induction leaders both at the school and school district offices, and their responses
constituted confirmatory feedback that contributed to the data analyses conducted
during the summer of 2003.
Potential ethical problems for researchers include deception, data
confidentiality, personal privacy, and emergent issues related to illegal acts or
incompetence (Krathwohl, 1998). For this study all participants and anyone even
remotely curious about why I was visiting either the school or school district were
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informed of my interest in learning about school culture and its influence on
induction processes. Deception thwarts trust and without trust I would have been
unable to accomplish my purposes. The issue of data confidentiality is a more
prominent concern regarding this study. I understood that divulging a participants
freely shared information to others might affect their professional reputation or
employment status. I made every effort to maintain each persons confidentiality by
keeping separate their responses to my inquiries or informal talks from any
documentation that could reveal who they are and what their position is.
Additionally, participant names did not appear on documents associated with this
study. One exception to this occurred when I sent a draft of the districts induction
program historical evolution to two district induction coordinators who had
provided me with important information about the development of the districts
induction program. This was done for the purposes of member checking
(confirming facts and inferences, and any names included had been either
previously provided by the same induction leaders, or were public figures. At the
high school site I took exceptional care not to accidentally reveal the identity of
another induction participant when providing feedback to individuals and groups.
Interviewees were informed of the nature and purposes of this study, and
they were advised of the potential risks. Potential survey participants were also
informed of the nature and purposes of the study, and they were informed of the
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risks prior to their participation. They, like the interview subjects, read, signed, and
dated the consent forms prior to their participation.
Data Collection Methods
This studys many research questions require diverse approaches to
collecting data. In its most general emphasis, this is a qualitative/case study that
relied on both historical and participant observation methods for acquiring
information. Careful efforts were made to first access primary source data. Equally
careful efforts were made to study these records to locate information relevant to the
research questions. Considerable time was spent observing and interacting with
school staff at Parker High School. These observations and interactions were
recorded in field notes, another important source of data for this study. But this
studys most important form of data collection, and not coincidentally an important
method in both historical and participant observation studies, was the interview.
Finally, data were also collected from new teacher surveys administered twice
during the course of the school year. The following chart delineates the research
questions, sources of data, and methods of analyses.
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Figure 3.1
Studys Questions, Data Sources, and
Analysis Plans
Research Question Data Sources Data Analysis Plans
Category 1: The induction program origin and evolutionary path
a. How does a large school district develop the specific induction program that it develops: what were the purposes, research bases, and impetus for developing the program that was developed? 1. Primary source documents 2. Interviews with: induction coordinators, staff development people, other district leaders and educators. 1. Document review of records that may illuminate program origins; descriptive analyses of budgetary and human resource trends that relate to program formulation. 2. Descriptive and sequential analyses of events related via interview responses. Categorical aggregation: aggregating instances in interview data that suggest recurring perceptions and explanations.
b. What are the characteristic features of the induction program and how have these features been altered or implemented at one district high school? 1. Primary source documents 2. Interviews with: induction coordinators, staff development leaders at high schools. 1. Document review of records; descriptive analyses of budgetary and human resource trends that relate to induction program formulation. 2. Categorical aggregation: aggregating instances in interview data that suggest both common explanations and perceptions of program specifics.
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Figure 3.1 (continued)
Research Question Data Sources Data Analysis Plans
Category 2: Perceived effects of school culture on induction objectives
a. What facets of the districts culture seem to obstruct the induction program from meeting its intended objectives, and what facets of the district's culture seem to enable the induction program to meet its intended objectives? 1. Field notes from observations and interactions with induction participants. 2. Interviews with: induction coordinators, staff development people, other district leaders and teachers, mentors, new teachers, school board members. 3. Primary source documents 1. & 2. Categorical aggregation: aggregating instances in interview data and field notes that suggest recurring perceptions, explanations, cultural manifestations, or processes. Also, role analysis: aggregating data according to the roles filled by induction participants (district leader, school administrator, mentor, mentee) in order to discern and describe patterns in the perceptions of each type of participant with regard to school culture and induction dynamics 3. Document review of school district artifacts and records that could suggest features specific to the district's culture.
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Figure 3.1 (Continued)
Research Question Data Sources Data Analysis Plans
Category 2: Perceived effects of school culture on induction objectives
b. What facets of a high school's culture seem to obstruct the induction program from meeting its intended objectives, and what facets of a high schools culture seem to enable the induction program to meet its intended objectives? 1. Field notes from participant observations: school rituals, artifacts will be recorded during and after observations, and notes taken from informal inquiries about the norms for teachers and administrators. 2. Interviews with: induction coordinators, high school staff development, high school mentors and mentees, other high school staff people. 3. Primary source documents 1. & 2. Categorical aggregation: aggregating instances in interview data and field notes that suggest recurring perceptions, explanations, cultural manifestations, or processes. Also, role analysis: aggregating data according to the roles filled by induction participants (district leaders, school administrators, mentor, mentee) in order to discern and describe patterns in the perceptions of each type of participant with regard to school culture and induction dynamics 3. Document review of high school artifacts and records that could suggest features specific to the high school's culture.

Category 3: Perceived effects of mentoring on the mentor
a. How do mentors' perceptions of the districts induction program (e.g., program objectives, implicit and explicit expectations, and resource availability) affect their thinking about themselves as educational professionals within a particular district? Interviews with: induction coordinators, staff development people, district mentors. Categorical aggregation: aggregating instances in interview data that suggest recurring perceptions, explanations, or beliefs.
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Figure 3.1 (Continued)
Research Question Data Sources Data Analysis Plans
b. What do mentors leam about themselves and other teachers, both new and experienced, as a consequence of participating in a formal induction program? Interviews with: induction coordinators, staff development people, district mentors. Categorical aggregation: aggregating instances in interview data that suggest recurring perceptions, explanations, or beliefs.
Category 4: Perceived effects of induction on new teachers
a. What are the perceived effects of formal mentoring on new high school teachers? 1. Surveys 2. Interviews with mentees and mentors. 1. Descriptive analyses of trends. 2. Categorical aggregation: aggregating instances in interview data that suggest recurring perceptions, explanations, or beliefs.
b. What are the perceived effects of informal mentoring on new high school teachers? 1. Surveys 2. Interviews with mentees and informal mentors. 1. Descriptive analyses of trends. 2. Categorical aggregation: aggregating instances in interview data that suggest recurring perceptions, explanations, or beliefs.
c. What are the perceived effects of induction assistance provided by school administrators and district personnel on new high school teachers? 1. Surveys 2. Interviews with mentees, school administrators, and district induction staff. 1. Descriptive analyses of trends. 2. Categorical aggregation: aggregating instances in interview data that suggest recurring perceptions, explanations, or beliefs.
d. What differences do mentees perceive in both the forms and quantities of assistance available in the fall and spring of their first year? Surveys 1. Descriptive analysis of trends. 2. Dependent groups t-tests (pre-test-post-test) on responses to survey questions.
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Figure 3.1 (Continued)
Research Question Data Sources Data Analysis Plans
e. To what extent does the new high school teachers self-efficacy (i.e., their beliefs about their own competence to deliver instruction, manage their classes, and engage students) change between fall and spring of their induction year? Surveys 1. Descriptive analysis of trends. 2. Dependent groups t-tests (pre-test-post-test) on responses to survey questions.
f. How do the perceived forms and quantities of assistance rendered by induction agents relate to new teacher satisfaction with teaching and induction? Surveys Correlation analyses of different responses to the survey data.
g. How do the perceived forms and quantities of assistance rendered by the induction agents relate to new teacher perceptions of self- efficacy? Surveys Correlation analyses of different responses to the survey data.
Historical Records
The first research question of this studyHow does a large school district
develop the specific induction program that it develops: what were the purposes,
research bases, and impetus for developing the program that was developed?
warranted use of historical records. Numerous primary source documents that
illuminate this question were used, e.g., documentation afforded by school district
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administrative records (human resource department records, school budgets, etc.)
and high school records. In addition to discovering and accessing important
documents, this study required numerous phone calls, face-to-face interviews, and
e-mail correspondence. Newspaper sources and other printed documents proved a
starting point in ascertaining key dates, events, and participants. These data led to
subsequent observations and guided interviews to unearth additional information
about district and high school cultures and induction program features. The
processes of locating and assessing the value of documents was important to this
study especially because this information allowed me to create, eliminate, and alter
interview questions, thus making the interview process less time-consuming for
participants and a boon with respect to information yield. Documentary data also
helped me decide what I should be attending to while observing settings and
participants in this study.
Collecting, determining the importance of, and analyzing historical records
proved invaluable to the goal of understanding the specific features of the school
districts induction program and how Parker High School implemented their
induction program. Similarly, records were used to shed light on facets of district
culture and high school culture that either foster or hinder success with respect to
induction purposes.
Understanding Parkers program required an understanding of both the
systems of which it is a part (state and school district), and the constitutive systems
80