Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award

11-2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

College

College of Education

Department

Education

Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Floralba A. Marrero, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Toni Carr, Ed.D.

Content Reader

Antonio Letizia, Ph.D.

Keywords

early-career teacher attrition, teacher mentor programs, new teacher induction

Abstract

The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to gain a deeper understanding of the lived experiences and perspectives of teachers from across the career continuum regarding teacher mentor programs. Thirteen teachers from different stages of the teacher career continuum took part in the study. The conceptual framework for this study focused on high teacher attrition rates among early-career teachers as a primary factor in present and projected shortages in the United States. Associated with the conceptual framework is Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory which supports the notion that new teachers learn about their profession through interaction and collaboration with their mentors, fellow teachers, and other professionals in the school community. In order to examine the lived experiences and perceptions of teachers who participated in teacher mentor programs during their first year of teaching, the researcher employed questionnaires, interviews, and a focus group discussion. The use of the transcendental phenomenological method provided for the in-depth study of a group of persons who all experienced the same phenomenon. The goal was to develop an overall description that represents the lived experiences of all the participants regarding teacher mentor programs. Three major themes and eight subthemes emerged from the study (a) district-mandated requirements with subthemes: mandatory meetings, required assignments, and feedback, (b) mentor compatibility with subthemes: physical accessibility, approachability, and friendship, and (c) mentor capability with subthemes: knowledge and experience, and preparedness. The findings of the study provide extensive insight into the role of teacher mentor programs on educator careers.

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