PERCEPTIONS OF UNTENURED TEACHERS ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DISTRICT INDUCTION PROGRAMS
The purpose of this study is to explore how induction programs impact untenured teachers’ overall experiences and perceptions. This study focused on stories, experiences, and values that were explicitly discussed by each participant related to their district’s induction program. In general, strong induction programs provide an intense level of professional development to all untenured teachers on content, instruction, and best practices related to students and classrooms (Danielson, 2008). Albert Bandura’s social learning theory (1977) explicitly discusses how we learn from our surrounding peers through observation and imitation. A descriptive case study through interpretive inquiry was used to help uncover data and answer our research questions. A total of 21 participants were selected for the study and participants were grouped as first-year teachers, second-year teachers, and third-year teachers. Data was collected through focus group interviews, semi-structured individual interviews, and document analysis. Data was analyzed through three cycles of coding. Four themes emerged from data analysis and they are as follows: Theme 1: Untenured teachers seeking collaboration. Theme 2: Untenured teachers’ expectations, opinions, and ideas on induction program agenda items. Theme 3: Untenured teachers’ differences in experience and understanding of the induction program. Theme 4: Untenured teachers’ understanding of PLC, co-teaching, and on-going mentoring. Findings of the study showed that participants had a misunderstanding of certain induction program components even though there were many requests for them. Many participants are interested in what literature shows to be important for teacher development, which the current induction program does not offer. Additionally, untenured teachers’ overall experiences differed across first-year teachers, second-year teachers, and third-year teachers. Implications of the study and recommendations for future research were provided based on the data that were analyzed.