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1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION With the publication of A Nation at Risk rose a series of educational excellence reforms designed to change the nature of schools, students, and teachers (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2004, p. iv). The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that across the nation, 9.3 percent of public school teachers leave the classroom before they complete their first year of teaching and more than one fifth of public school teachers leave their position within their first three years of teaching (Rosenow, 2005 cited in Greiner & Smith 2006). With regards to the characteritics of individuals who leave the teaching profession, the most consistent findings of the empirical research literature reports that the highest turnover and attrition rates seen for teachers occur in their first years of teaching and after many years of teaching when individuals are near retirement (Hanushek, Kain, and Rivkin 2004 cited in Guarino, Santibannez & Deley 2006). The most serious consequence and direct disadvantage of high teacher turnover is that it erodes teaching quality and student achievemnt (NCTAF, 2003, p.33). Recently, the NCTAF (2003) report indicated that many schools are becoming revolving doors; losing as many teachers as they hire each year (p.9). Recent research indicates that Teachers with positive perceptions about their working conditions are much more likely to stay at their current schools than educators who are more negative about their conditions of work, particularly in the areas of leadership and empowerment (Hirsch & Emerick, 2007, p. 14). The Problem According to Ingersoll, principals who face difficulties in locating sufficient
2 numbers of qualified job candidates most commonly do three things: hire less-qualified teachers, assign teachers trained in another field or grade level to teach in the understaffed area, and make extensive use of substitute teachers (1997, p. 42). According to a report issued by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), The so-called teacher shortage is actually an exodus of certified teachers, and nationwide, schools of education, with a few exceptions, graduate enough teachers to meet the vacancies due to teacher retirement (Ingersoll, 2002; National Commission on Teaching and Americas Future [NCTAF], 2003). Attracting and retaining highly qualified male and female teachers has gained national attention. Statement of the Problem Arguments have been made that the current demand for teachers is not a result of a shortage of teachers but rather due to the high attrition rate of existing teachers, particularly those who leave education within the first 5 years of their career (DarlingHammond & Sykes, 2003). They argue that school staffing problems are caused not so much by an insufficient supply of qualified individuals, but by too many teachers leaving teaching (Ingersoll, 1997 p.2). In addition, once schools and districts hire new teachers, they must expend enormous energies developing [these] new teachers, who are likely to leave after only a few years and be replaced by yet another recruit in need of special resources and support (NASBE, 1998, p.7). Much attention and research have been focused on teacher turnover; however, there is a need for new research on retention, particularly amongst first through fifth year teachers in Texas public schools, especially in urban schools. Ingersoll and Smith (2004), in a schools-and-staffing survey, found in a sample of
3 more than 3,000 beginning teachers that those who experienced induction and mentoring support were less likely to leave the school than were their counterparts who lacked this support (p. 30). However, very few studies exist that examine new teachers perspectives on effective and ineffective mentoring and self-efficacy scores in relation to gender. Due to the lack of research, there is a shortage of teachers in Texas. According to the National Association of State Boards of Education, Most states do not need to recruit more candidates into teacher preparation programs. Most states do not even need to attract higher quality candidates to teaching. What states do need, however, are targeted programs that attract candidates who are willing and able to meet the needs of the school in which they will be asked to teach. (1998, p.13). Purpose of the Study The primary purpose of the study was to identify whether teachers self-efficacy level and mentoring experience have a significant impact on those who remain in the field as opposed to those who leave. Gender was carefully analyzed to see whether there was a relationship in how males and females view mentoring and their levels of selfefficacy as they relate to the school setting. Given the lack of current empirical studies using efficacy, teacher perspectives, and principals perceptions of mentoring programs as predictors of retention, it was necessary to examine to what extent, if any, teachers mentoring experience, self-efficacy, and gender played in teacher retention. Conceptual Framework Bandura (1986) advanced the notion that individuals possess beliefs that enable them toexercise a measure of control over their thoughts, feelings, and actions, that what people think, believe, and feel affects how they behave (p.25). Bandura (1989) contends
4 that when people erroneously believe that they are unable to accomplish a given task, people will choose not to act despite the promise of a rewarding consequence: Selfperceived inefficacy can thus nullify the motivating potential of alluring outcome expectations(p.1180). Bandura (1977) argued that because people are able to control their own actions, and since interpretation should be considered a form of behavior, it follows that how people represent their conduct is subject to the workings of the mind: Behavior control not only allows one to manage the aversive aspects of an environment. It also affects how the environment is likely to be perceived. Potentially stressful situations that can be controlled are constructed as less life threatening, and such cognitive appraisals further reduce anticipatory emotional arousal (p.199). Bandura (1997) contends that nothing that happens in the world is independent of an individuals interpretation, but that interpretations are not independent of the actual surroundings in the external world: Life is full of reality checks that, in consequential matters, can bear down unmercifully on foolish actions spawned by faulty judgment.Some interpretations of reality have greater explanatory, predictive, and operative power than do others (p.475). According to Bandura (1977) The more believable the source of information, the more likely are efficacy expectations to change (p. 202). Bandura (1977) also believes that, In the process of self-regulation, the experiential component acts when preexisting self-concepts exert selective influence on which aspects of ones ongoing behavior are given the most attention, how they are perceived, and how performance information is organized for memory representation. Mood states also affect how ones performances are self-monitored and cognitively processed. For example, when people are in a despondent mood they interpret events negatively and recall
5 unpleasant events easily, whereas in a positive mood they take a more favorable view of matters and bring positive experiences more easily to mind (p.337). The conceptual theoretical mode is based on the idea that new teachers who participate in an effective mentoring and induction program will develop coping behavior that will help them remain in the teaching field. Those teachers who do not participate in mentoring and induction programs may not develop those coping behaviors and, therefore, will exit the field. The social cognitive theory views individuals as both products and producers of their environments and social system. Bandura (1994) defined self-efficacy as peoples beliefs about their capabilities to produce designated levels of performance that exercise influence over events that affect their lives (p. 71). According to Bandura (1994), An individual with a high sense of self-efficacy will more likely face challenges head-on rather than avoid them. Individuals with high level of assurance attribute failure to inadequate knowledge and skills or to a lack of effort, both of which can be acquired. In contrast, an individual with low self-efficacy deals with failure in a completely different manner. These individuals will focus on their deficiencies; obstacles to success slacken their efforts, and they often give up (p. 72) Bandura continued, Self-efficacy will help determine how a new teacher may or may not be able to deal with certain situations (p. 73). Teacher efficacy beliefs have also been negatively correlated with undesirable professional outcomes such as teacher burnout (Brissie, Hoover-Dempsey, & Bassier, 1988), teacher stress (Bliss & Finneran, 1991), and teacher absenteeism (Imants & Van Zoelen, 1995).
6 Research Questions This study focused on answering the following questions: 1. Is there a significant difference in Texas elementary teachers self-efficacy scores and mentoring scores in relation to gender? 2. Is there a significant difference in Texas middle-school teachers self-efficacy scores and mentoring scores in relation to gender? 3. Is there a significant difference in Texas high-school teachers self-efficacy scores and mentoring scores in relation to gender? Null Hypotheses The following hypotheses were tested: Ho1- There is no statistically significant difference in self-efficacy scores and mentoring scores between elementary school male and female teachers. Ho2- There is no statistically significant difference in self-efficacy scores and mentoring scores between middle-school male and female teachers. Ho3- There is no statistically significant difference in self-efficacy scores and mentoring experiences scores between high-school male and female teachers. Conceptual Underpinnings for the Study Principals and teachers make decisions each year regarding the retention or resignation of their careers, which can have a profound affect on students. Beliefs play an integral role in the decision-making process of teachers (Bonvin, 2003: Pouliot, 2000). Recent research indicates that Teachers with positive perceptions about their working conditions are much more likely to stay at their current school than educators who are more negative about their conditions of work, particularly in the areas of leadership and
7 empowerment (Hirsch & Emerick, 2007, p. 14). Indeed, research has shown that approximately one-quarter of all beginning teachers leave teaching within four years (Benner 2000; Rowan et al. 2002). If the problem is not corrected, the shortage of teachers may increase significantly and student achievement will continue to decrease. Significance of the Study Recently, the NCTAF (2003) noted that Teacher retention is the answer to staffing all the nations classrooms with a highly qualified teacher. Our inability to support high quality teaching in many of our schools is driven not be too few teachers entering, but by too many leaving (NCTAF, 2003, p.8) . The NCTAF (2003) report, No Dream Denied: A Pledge to Americas Children, concluded that teacher shortage will never end and that quality teaching will not be achieved for every child until we change the conditions that are driving teachers out of too many of our schools (p.3). This study on teacher retention was significant because administrators have some insight to how teachers perceived their abilities and mentoring experiences. The study provided details on gender differences in relation to perceived abilities and mentoring experiences. In addition, the study provided recommendations for future studies, such as researching urban teachers and different behaviors that may cause teachers to have high or low self-perceptions. The collected data could be used within the district to train school leaders and to reduce teacher turnover throughout the district. Assumptions The following assumptions were made in this study: 1. Banduras Self-Efficacy Survey (1977 see Appendix 1) and the Kansas State University Survey (1994 see Appendix 2) on mentoring are appropriate instruments to
8 use in trying to gauge teachers attitudes. 2. The teachers in the schools selected for the survey are adequate representatives of how most elementary, middle-, and high-school first-through-fifth-year teachers feel about self-efficacy and mentoring experiences. 3. Because Banduras Self-Efficacy Scale (1994) and the Kansas State University Mentoring Survey are used, it is assumed that there is a range of teachers who will score high and low on such scales. Limitations of Study While the present study has supplied much useful information about leadership and teacher retention, it has several limitations that must be acknowledged. The study provided a variety of information for Texas public schools but not for schools outside of Texas. In addition, the research was focused on first- through 5th-year teachers. With respect for both groups of teachers it is possible that the more efficacious teachers and teachers with excellent experiences responded to each of the surveys. On the down side, teachers with low efficacy levels or ineffective mentors may have failed to answer the survey all together. Definitions of Terms AEIS - The Academic Excellent Indicator System reports provide a large amount of information on the performance of students in each school and district in Texas annually. In the fall, the AEIS reports are posted online (Texas Education Agency) Attrition - For this study, attrition refers to teachers who leave the teaching profession altogether (Ingersoll, 2003a). Beginning teachers - Beginning teachers are teachers who have been in the field
9 for 5 years or less (Ingersoll & Smith, 2003). Campus mentoring program - A campus mentoring program affiliates a new teacher with an experienced staff member or team to provide guidance and assistance during the new teachers transition to teaching (ONeill, 2004). District characteristics - District characteristics include student demographics (ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status) and district and staff information (Texas Education Agency) Elementary certified The Texas Education Agency issues a provisional certificate to an applicant who has acquired a bachelors degree and who is otherwise eligible to teach in Texas public schools. The Elementary Certificate requires at least 60 semester hours of general education and 36 semester hours of academic specialization (Teacher Certificate Handbook, p. 5). Elementary school An elementary school usually includes anywhere from the first four to the first eight grades and often a kindergarten. High school A high school is any 3- to 6-year secondary school serving students approximately 14 to 18 years of age. Four-year schools are by far the most common; their grade levels are designated freshman (9th grade), sophomore (10th), junior (11th), and senior (12th). Comprehensive high schools offer general academic courses and specialized commercial, trade, and technical subjects. Most U.S. high schools are tuition-free, supported by state funds. Private high schools are usually classed as either parochial or preparatory schools. Induction programs Comprehensive induction programs support new teachers for at least 2 years and include a number of components: high quality mentoring,
10 common planning time, ongoing professional development, an external network of teachers, and standards-based evaluation (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2004; Smith & Ingersoll, 2004b). Mastery experiences - Mastery experiences refers to the successful experiences that build an individuals self-efficacy (Bandura, 1994). Mentor - A mentor is an experienced, highly successful veteran educator who is skilled at providing instructional support and committed to the role of coaching a new teacher (Ingersoll & Smith, 2004). Middle school Middle schools generally have grades spanning the 3 to 5 years between elementary school and high school, are focused on the educational needs of students in these in-between years, and are designed to promote continuous educational progress for all concerned (Alexander & George, 1981, p. 3). Personal efficacy Personal efficacy is the belief that the individual teacher holds in his or her own ability to affect student learning. According to Ashton and Webb (1986), personal efficacy relates to individual or internal assessment of their own teaching competency (p. 4). Teaching efficacy Ashton and Webb (1986) define teaching efficacy as teachers expectations that teaching can influence student learning (p. 4). Teacher retention - Teacher retention is the process of retaining teachers in the teaching profession (Harell, Leavell, van Tassel, & McKee, 2004). Teachers sense of efficacy The teachers sense of efficacy is a concept or belief held by teachers that all children can learn, regardless of family background or other environmental or hereditary factors. The construct has two independent strands, a
11 sense of teaching efficacy and a sense of personal efficacy (Ashton & Webb, 1986). Teacher need to replace more than 2 million teachers over the next decade (Howard, 2003). Teacher turnover - Teacher turnover refers to teachers exiting the field of teaching altogether and those transferring to another school (Ingersoll, 2002). Organization of Study The study is organized into five chapters. Chapter 1 contained the introduction, statement of the problem, the purpose of the study, conceptual framework, guiding research questions, hypotheses, significance of the study, study limitations, definition of key terms, and study organization. Chapter 2 includes the review of the literature. Chapter 3 describes the design, procedures, analysis, and findings of the study. Chapter 4 reports the analysis of the data. Finally, Chapter 5 includes the summary results and conclusions and the recommendations and implications for further study.
CHAPTER II REVIEW OF LITERATURE This dissertation examined the differences between male and female teachers attitudes towards self-efficacy scores and mentoring experiences in school on all levels. The primary purpose of the study was to identify whether teachers mentoring perception scores and self-efficacy level scores affect teacher retention or departure from education according to gender. Administrators must recognize which variables attribute to teacher turnover and retention. Once these variables are recognized, principals will be able to establish or make changes to the existing mentor programs and increase self-efficacy levels. The review of literature focused on the following areas of discussion (a) teacher issues; (b) theoretical background on self-efficacy and mentoring; (c) studies on teachers, mentors, and staff. Theoretical Background of Self-Efficacy Albert Bandura (1977) first introduced the cognitive social learning theory. He theorized that the behavior a person exhibits is influenced by his or her beliefs regarding an outcome expectation and an efficacy expectation. In an outcome expectation, a person estimates that a given behavior will lead to a certain outcome. Efficacy expectation refers to the belief that a person has regarding his ability actually to perform the behavior required to produce the outcome (p. 193). These two outcomes are distinct, particularly in the educational setting, because while a teacher may believe that specific
13 teacher behaviors will lead to a better classroom environment, improved student learning, increased class participation, and so on, that same teacher may not have confidence in his or her ability to perform those behaviors. These two sets of expectations have been labeled by educational researchers as teaching efficacy and personal teaching efficacy (Gibson & Dembo, 1984, p.573). The concept of teacher efficacy was first introduced in two RAND Corporation studies that concluded that teachers attitudes about their own professional competence, in short, appear to have major effects on what happens to projects and how effective they are (Berman, McLaughlin, Bass, Pauly, & Zellman, 1977, p. 137). Teacher Quality in Schools While researchers tend to agree that teacher quality is an important determining factor in influencing student outcomes, there is little consensus about the relationship between specific teacher credentials (e.g., experience and degree level) and characteristics (e.g., age, race, and ethnicity) and teacher effectiveness. An example of certification determing certification would be that teacher attributes commonly used for certification, recruitment, screening, and selection of teachers (i.e., certification status, degree,and experience levels) are not strongly correlated with student learning gains (Goldhaber and Brewer 2000; Hanushek 1986, 1997). America faces tremendous challenges as it seeks to reform the nations educational system with the goal of leaving no child behind (Joftus & Maddox-Dolan, 2002, p.1). Common sense suffices: American students are entitled to teachers know their subjects, understand their students and what they need, and have developed the skills required to make learning come alive (NCTAF, 1996, p. 10). Despite increased awareness of the nations teacher-quality
14 challenges and reforms to address national shortcomings, we are still far from having a caring and competent teacher in every classroom (U.S. Department of Education, 2000, p.iii). Teacher Experience and Retention According to Feistretzer, One-third to two-fifths of the qualified candidates who graduated form college fully qualified to teach do not enter the teaching profession immediately after earning their degree (Feistritzer, 1999, p.2). Studies of beginning teachers from a variety of both traditional and alternative teacher preparation programs showed that many new teachers do not feel adequately prepared to meet the challenges they face when they first begin teaching in their own classrooms (Berry, 2004; Public Education Network,2003). Across the United States, school and district leaders are beginning to recognize the critical importance of providing sustained and purposeful professional support to teachers, includingand perhaps especiallythose in the beginning years of their profession, as a means of maintaining a strong, stable workforce and improving measurable outcomes for student learning (Berry, 2004; Johnson et al., 2005). Johnson (2006) in The Workplace Matters: Teacher Quality, Retention, and Effectiveness states that Those seeking to improve schooling must understand the important links between the workplace, effective instruction, and teacher retention, teacher quality, and effective teaching all tend to point to a set of workplace conditions that facilitate these goals (p.17). According to Olson (2003) schools that are more successful in retaining new teachers have six qualities: (1) safe and orderly environments; (2) respectful of all; (3) ongoing support for new teachers; (4) timely provision of
15 materials; (5) strong instructional leadership by principals; (6) and the development of others leadership skills (p.21). Roles Mentors Are Expected to Play Mentoring is an active collegial and reciprocal relationship built on the basis of negotiation and trust, to give constructive criticism to support progression and career advancement of the mentee (Bush, Coleman, Wall, & West-Burnham, 1996; Clutterbuck & Sweeney, 2005; Daresh, 1995; Hauling- Austin, 1989; Scandura, Tejeda, Werther, & Lankau, 1996). First mentors must be committed to the kind of teaching that performers expect them to implement and must know how to work with novices as agents of change (Cochran-Smith, 1991: Feiman_Nemser & Parker, 1992: Guyton & Hidalgo, 1995: King & Bev, 1995). Second, mentors need to develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter (Feiman-Nemser & Parker, 1990: Huling-Austin, 1992). Third, mentors are expected to have a deep understanding of the relationship between principled knowledge and teaching practice and to help novice teachers develop similar understandings of the context of teaching (Carter, 1988; Kennedy, 1991a, 1997). "The first years of teaching are an intense and formative time in learning to teach, influencing not only whether people remain in teaching but what kind of teacher they become" (Feiman-Nemser, 2001, p. 1026). Possibly the most critical aspect of effective mentoring programs is the matching of mentors and protgs. There is no absolute way to ensure that matches made are matches made in heaven (Playko, 1995, p.91). In mentoring there is a great deal of team-building, and intense communication and information sharing (Fullan, 1999, p. 37). Egan (1986) observes that the availability of the mentor is an important factor in the success of the relationship and that
16 approachability and receptivity are important aspects of the mentoring relationships (pp. 6-7). Mentors support assists mentees to make the transition from student to practicing professional (Upson, Koballa, & Gerber, 2002, p. 4). Although reflection impacts on thinking, mentees need to be taught the skills of reflection and be provided with a multitude of opportunities to practice those skills (Greene & Campbell, 1993, p. 37), which is guided through the mentors personal attributes. Critical self-reflection is considered the main catalyst for the development of autonomy and expertise (Veenman, de Laat, & Staring, 1998, p. 6). Mentoring involves complex personal interactions conducted under different circumstances in different schools (Wildman, Magliaro, Niles, & Niles, 1992, p. 212). Indeed, if mentors are not supportive then mentees may not be receptive to mentors facilitation Mentoring programs for beginning teachers have become the norm in many states (Ingersoll & Kralik, 2004). Mentoring was often equated with induction, although it was becoming more apparent that mentoring was only one important part of an effective induction process (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2004; Bickmore, Bickmore, & Hart, 2005). Unfortunately, there are schools that implement programs without considering the factors that create effective mentor-mentee relationships. A mentoring program benefits the new teacher, the mentor, and, most important, the students (Bartwell, 2006). Brown (2003) suggested that some believe that, through the implementation of mentoring programs, the dropout rate can be cut from roughly 50 percent to 15 percent during the first five years of teaching. Mentors provide a smooth transition from pre-service training to actual professional employment. Across the United States, school and district leaders are beginning to recognize the critical importance of providing sustained and purposeful professional support to
17 teachers, includingand perhaps especiallythose in the beginning years of their profession, as a means of maintaining a strong, stable workforce and improving measurable outcomes for student learning (Berry, 2004; Johnson et al., 2005). However, as many as fifty percent of beginning teachers do not participate in induction programs beyond a one-time orientation and only 1 percent of the new teacher workforce participates in the kind of comprehensive program recommended by researchers (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2004; Johnson et al., 2005) The importance of meeting the professional growth needs of mentors is underscored by researcher Ingersoll (2004) and Feiman-Nemser (2001), who separately raise the issue of mentoring experiences that, on the basis of poor and/or outdated models of practice held by some veteran teachers, actually impede new teacher growth and undermine the intended reform agenda. Similarly, Darling-Hammond (2005), in an article entitled Educating the New Educator: Teacher Experiences Teacher Education and the Future of Democracy, paints a compelling picture of the paints a compelling picture of the complexity of what todays teachers are asked to know and demonstrate. Often, she asserts, we are asking teachers to practice in ways that are substantially different from those that have been experienced before. Expecting that even veteran teachers will possess the knowledge and communication skills to articulate this new agenda is a concern According to Johnson (2004), In integrated professional cultures, mentoring is organized to benefit both the novice and the experienced teachers, and structures are in place that further facilitate teacher interaction and reinforce interdependence (p. 159). Ingersoll and Smith (2004), in an analysis of the 1999-2000 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) found that almost 9 in 10 new teachers
18 reported that their mentors were helpful (p. 690). In a review entitled, Who Stays in Teaching and Why: A Review of the Literature on Teacher Retention, Johnson et al. (2005) reports that mentoring was particularly positive for new teachers who taught the same grade and subject as their mentor and worked more often with him or her (p. 88). Findings from an Education Trust study cited by Johnson et al. (2004) are similarly troubling: No matter which study you examine, no matter which measure of teacher quality you use, the pattern is always the samepoor students, low-performing students, and students of color are far more likely than other students to have teachers, who are inexperienced, who are inexperienced, uncertified, poorly educated, and underperforming. Exacerbating the problem, according to Berry (2004), is the limited research on how to recruit, train, and retain teachers for hard to staff schools, and further, that what is known is not well used Kaplan and Owings (2004) stated that principals have a leadership role in bringing beginning teachers to professional maturity. The effectiveness of the teacher mentor component depends on how it is designed (Berry, 2004; DarlingHammond, 2003; Jensen, 1987). One way to accomplish the goal of mentor design is to be actively engaged in the development and support of a mentoring program for novice teachers. Ingersoll (2004) and Feiman-Nemser (2001) separately raised the issue of mentoring experiences that, on the basis of outdated models of practice held by some veteran teachers, might actually impede new teacher growth and undermine the intended reform agenda. Researchers have pointed out that "relationships can be established or enriched by learning or encouraging mentor-like behavior rather than by selecting certain types of
19 people" (Papalewis, Jordan, Cuellar, Gaulden, & Smith; 1991, p. 6). Glover and Mutchler (n.d.) gained a qualitative perspective of existing Texas mentoring programs implemented at the district and school levels. The researchers conducted interviews with individuals who held diverse perspectives on local mentoring activities. These individuals included mentor and novice teachers, school administrators, and district staff. This research began by focusing on the one-on-one mentoring arrangement. It did not take many visits to schools to see that one-on-one mentoring was only a part of the full picture of successful teacher induction and development. The study provided a rich understanding of how mentoring for beginning teachers occurs in practice and explained how schools and districts planned and implemented mentoring programs. Unfortunately, this study revealed that three sites were only minimally addressing beginning teachers needs relative to work with an increasingly diverse student population. The findings of this study clearly pointed to implications for the continued development of mentoring programs in the state of Texas. A good teacher may not necessarily be a good mentor; there are further characteristics, roles, and responsibilities involved in effective mentorship (Johnson, 2003). Effective mentoring and development programs include having mentors who are trained in the same content, common planning periods for teachers in the content area, a reduced teaching schedule, and an external network of teachers (Southern Regional Education Board, 2004). A recent Education Commission of the States analysis of research studies documenting the impact of mentoring on teacher retention (Ingersoll & Kralik, 2004) concluded that there was empirical support for the claim that assistance for new teachers and, in particular, mentoring programs for new teachers has a positive
20 impact on teachers and their retention. As Menchaca (2003) warned, a mentor program has the potential to affect teacher retention, improve the attitudes and instructional strategies of novice teachers and provide professional growth opportunities for the mentor teachers (p. 26), and it can even be effective in recruitment, but its success will depend on how well it is supported by principals (Smith & Ingersoll, 2004b). Many school districts have developed induction/mentoring program models in recent years. Nevertheless, many mentor teachers receive no training or inadequate training and only limited support for their work. Rowley (1999) asserted that, for a mentor to demonstrate these abilities, he or she must receive ongoing training and professional development. In addition, he articulated that there are significant criteria that need to be present for a good mentoring program to exist. Mentors need to be (a) committed to the role of mentoring, (b) accepting of the new teacher, (c) skilled at providing instructional support, (d) effective in different interpersonal contexts, (e) continuous learners, and (f) able to communicate hope and optimism (pp. 20-21). According to Hurst and Reding (2002), aside from leading, teaching, and guiding, a mentor should also serve as an advocate for the novice teacher. The mentoring process should be grounded on a solid mentor-mentee relationship. The mentoring goal encompasses four concepts: leading through example, leading through guidance, leading through communication, and supporting by being an advocate (Hurst & Reding). Effective mentoring programs benefit the mentee, the mentor, and the school (FeimanNemser, 2001; Haack, 2006). Induction Traditionally, beginning teachers have been given few, if any, opportunities to
21 participate in formal induction into the education profession (Lake, 2006). The history of induction programs in the United States is quite young. In the 19th and most of the 20th centuries, induction for new teachers did not exist. As a form of professional development, an effective induction program is well-structured and comprehensive, involves many people and components, and usually continues as a sustained process for the first 2 to 5 years of a teachers career (Wong, 2005). According to an historical review of new teacher support (Fulton, Yoon, & Lee, 2005), comprehensive induction programs support new teachers for at least 2 years and include a number of components: highquality mentoring, common planning time, ongoing professional development, an external network of teachers, and standards-based evaluation (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2004; Ingersoll & Smith, 2004). Recent studies have shown that more effective induction programs include training, guidance, and compensation for mentors; required time for structured interaction between a new teacher and a mentor teacher; and orientation and training programs for first-year teachers before the school year begins (Gold, 1996). For instance, a program in rural Louisiana reduced annual teacher attrition rates by nearly 40 percent by providing a training program on classroom management in the summer before employment, assigning an experienced teacher to support each new teacher within his or her school, and holding monthly meetings that specifically addressed new teachers concerns (Archer, 2003). Induction programs undeniably present a valuable experience for beginning teachers, but the programs that stress constant feedback and collaborative environments remain a rare experience for most new teachers (Wilson, 2006). Educators do not agree on what teachers should know or what constitutes the best learning environments. Therefore, new
22 teacher induction programs differ from district to district. Although the nature of induction programs varies widely, the two strategies on which they focus are assistance and assessment (Dunn, 2006). In 2003, 79 percent of new teachers reported that they were involved in some type of induction program (Ingersoll & Smith, 2004). The primary reason for induction programs is to engage in collaborative learning and professional growth and to provide an ongoing support system for new teachers (Dunn, 2006). New teacher induction programs can provide sound structured opportunities for new teachers to build effective teaching skills. Moreover, some new-teacher induction programs assign new teachers with a mentor who plays many roles, such as a counselor to provide support or a challenger to encourage new teachers to do their best (National Education Association, 2002). Very few induction programs provide new teachers with all of the components that constitute a comprehensive induction program. In fact, only one percent of new teachers receive this type of induction when they enter the teaching profession (Ingersoll & Smith, 2004). Although the majority of new teachers participate in some version of induction, the degree of support they receive varies greatly (Ingersoll, 2003c). In addition, the Southeast Center for Teaching Quality reported that districts that are developing induction and mentoring programs with well-designed assessment and support components are producing positive retention trends for all teachers (Berry, HopkinsThompson, & Hoke, 2002). As defined by researchers, the induction program is a strategy set forth to assist novice teachers in the transition from pre-service training to full-time teaching, a strategy that has the potential to assist in retaining novice teachers (Bartell, 2005; Brewster & Railsback, 2001; Gold, 1996; Huling-Austin, 1992;
23 Menchaca, 2003; Veenman & Denessen, 2001). From the available research on new educator induction programs, we know that nearly 50 percent of new teachers leave within their first 5 years of teaching (Ingersoll & Smith, 2004). An Alliance of Excellence Education report, Tapping the Potential: Retaining and Developing High-Quality New Teachers, strongly suggested that districts implement new teacher induction programs. The program recommended that a comprehensive induction program begin before teachers get into the classroom to integrate beginnings into the [National Partnership for Teaching in At-Risk Schools] profession by guiding their work, further developing their skills, and evaluating their performance during the first few years of teaching (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2006, p. 8). Job Satisfaction Job satisfaction is a term that is difficult to describe as a single construct, and the definition of job satisfaction varies between studies (Morice & Murray, 2003; Protheroe, Lewis & Paik, 2002; Singer, 1995). Rosenholtz (1985) identifies the central problem of establishing effective schools in poor settings as being that good teachers are difficult to recruit and almost impossible to retain because the rewards of teaching do not outweigh the frustrations. (p. 354) Bogler (2001) noted job satisfaction is important in terms of teacher retention, but is also related to teacher empowerment, school culture, quality work environment, and student achievement. Greater job satisfaction is also a critical factor to consider in terms of recruitment of new teachers into the profession. It is not surprising that researchers suggest schools must give more attention to increasing teacher job satisfaction to recruit and retain quality personnel (Bogler). As the importance of retaining quality teachers steadily continues to increase, numerous studies have determined factors contributing to teacher satisfaction or dissatisfaction (Colgan, 2004; Houchins, Shippen & Cattrett, 2004; Kleinhenz & Ingvarson, 2000; Reyes & Hoyle, 1992).
24 Studies continue to search for a connection between the internal construct of teacher job satisfaction, for example, sense of success, commitment to the profession, motivation for coming to work, or self-perception of worth, and the external conditions of teacher evaluation such as work place conditions, collaborative processes, autonomy, professional development, or administrative support (Butt & Lance, 2005; Davis & Wilson, 2000; Woods & Weasmer, 2002; Zembylas & Papanastasiou, 2005). Teacher Turnover Adding new teachers to replace those who have left is costly (Johnson & Kardos, 2005, p. 8). Although schools racial compositions and proportions of low-income students predict teacher turnover, salaries and working conditionsincluding large class sizes, facilities problems, multi-track schools, and lack of text-booksare strong and significant factors in prediction high rates of turnover; when these conditions are taken into account, the influence of student characteristic on turnover is substantially reduced (Loeb, Darling-Hammond & Luczak, 2005). Findings from an Education Trust study cited by Johnson et al. (2004) are similarly troubling: No matter which study you examine, no matter which measure of teacher quality you use, the pattern is always the samepoor students, low-performing students, and students of color are far more likely than other students to have teachers who are inexperienced, uncertified, poorly educated, and under-performing. Many of those teachers demonstrate most or all those unfortunate qualities all at the same time(Carey in Johnson et al., 2004, p. 2). Acomprehensive induction program for new teachers becomes critical in hard to staff schools where teachers need ongoing development in cultural competency, because teachers who are not prepared or well supported in their work with culturally and economically diverse school
25 children are more likely to become teacher turnover statistics and add to weakened teaching practices (Johnson et al., 2005, p. 11).Minarik, Thornton, and Perault (2003) and Kaplan and Owings (2004) reported that administrators will have to hire 200,000 teachers annually for the next 10 years to meet the educational demands in the United States. In Texas, Herbert and Ramsey (2004) reported that the number of teachers certified each year increases, but the attrition rate and teacher shortage continue to grow. We know that certain kinds of people are more likely to leave their teaching jobs and certain schools are more likely lose teachers. But do these distinctions matter and, if so, how? Increasingly researchers, practitioners, and policy makers have focused their attention on retention (Guarino et al., 2004; Ingersoll, 2001; Johnson & Birkeland, 2003; National Commission on Teaching and Americas Future, 2003). One major reason is that research has confirmed, with increased methodological rigor, that teacher quality makes a difference in student learning (Goldhaber & Anthony, 2004; Rivkin, Hanushek, & Kain, 2002; Rockoff, 2003; Rowan, Correnti, & Miller, 2002; Sanders& Horn, 1998; Sanders & Rivers, 1996; Wright, Horn, & Sanders, 1997). Understanding why teachers leave is the first step in getting them to stay. Teachers leave when they encounter environments that lack essential professional support systems: (a) support from school leadership,) organizational structures and workforce conditions that convey respect and value for them, and (c) induction and mentoring programs for new and experienced teachers (Ingersoll, 2001a; Johnson et al., 2001). Much attention and research have been focused on teacher turnover; however, there is a need for new research on retention, particularly in urban schools. Research shows that the national turnover rate for teachers is over 16 percent and as high as 50
26 percent in urban schools (Ingersoll, 2002). In fact, the National Commission on Teaching and Americas Future challenged the nation to improve teacher retention by 50 percent by 2006 (NCTAF, 2003). The teachers who leave after their first year are often among the best and brightest. Several studies have shown a significant correlation between those who leave and high achievement on examinations such as the SAT (Ingersoll & Smith, 2004). Cost of Turnover The organizational cost related to turnover is the reverse of the gains an organization receives from retaining quality employees. It is estimated that the cost of replacing an employee varies between 70 percent and 200 percent of the departing employees salary (Kaye & Jordan-Evans, 2001). The time and energy invested in each new hire results in lost opportunity costs because that time is not available for other organizational needs. Another factor to consider when employees leave is the inherent loss of explicit and tactic organizational knowledge (Droege & Hoobler, 2003). Explicit knowledge, acquired through formal and informal trainings, refers to organizational policies and procedures and to the content knowledge essential to a position. Teachers hold 3.8 million jobs in elementary and secondary U.S. public and private schools, representing approximately 4 percent of the total civilian workforce (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2006). Over three-quarters of the teachers were females, with 18 percent of the teaching force newly hired (Strizek, Pittsonberger, Riordan, Lyter, & Orlofsky, 2006). Furthermore, the Alliance for Excellent Education (2004) estimates that the cost of recruiting, hiring, and training a new teacher is approximately 30 percent of the departing
27 teachers salary. A Texas study of new-teacher attrition conducted in 2000 identified an annual state budgetary cost of between $329 million and $2.1 billion based on an annual, statewide 15.5 percent turnover rate on the model selected for calculation (Berry, 2004; Johnson, Berg, & Donaldson, 2005). As Sparks (2002) stated, Retaining teachers is one of the top educational challenges facing our country today (p. 323). An enormous rate of turnover was recently up to about 15 percent nationwide annually and is the major factor driving the need for new teachers, compared to about 10 years earlier when there was only a 3 percent turnover rate. Moreover, a recent policy brief from the Alliance for Excellent Education (2005) estimated that, nationally, costs of replacing public-school teachers who drop out of the profession prior to retirement were $2.2 billion a year (using the U.S. Department of Labors figure that attrition costs an employer 30 percent of the departing employees salary). Nationally, approximately 30 percent of new teachers leave within 3 years, and 40 percent to 50 percent leave within 5 to 7 years (Huling-Austin, 1992; Ingersoll, 2002b; Ingersoll & Smith, 2004). According to the National Commission on Teaching and Americas Future (2003), there are several steps that districts use to calculate the number of leavers, beginning with first entering the number of teachers who left the school the previous year. Second, in order to calculate the cost of each teacher who left, one must enter the estimated cost, which in Texas is $8,400 for urban schools and $3,600 for non-urban schools. Third, officials analyze the estimate including the costs of recruiting, hiring, processing, and training a new teacher. Finally, the average estimate is calculated. The Web site of the National Commission on Teaching and Americas Future has a calculator, which calculates all of the costs.
28 Principal Leadership The relationship between each teacher and her or his principal is unique. Although one might anticipate that teacher perceptions of principal leadership are influenced by peers, each teacher has a unique perspective on principal leadership (Barnett & McCormick, 2004). In fact, Sparks (2002) indicated that teachers, even those in the most demanding settings, are far more likely to remain in their positions when they feel supported by administrators, have strong bonds of connection to colleagues, and are aggressively pursuing a collective vision for student learning about which they feel passion and commitment. On the other hand, a lack of support from the administration tends to lead to teachers feeling that they do not belong to the learning community, which is the foundation of a strong school. A leaders influence is largely manifest through influencing school conditions and teachers work, which in turn affect school and student outcomes. Positive and supportive leadership by principals is important to teachers. Leaders also must ensure that teachers have adequate resources and materials to do their job (Darling-Hammond, 2003; Ingersoll & Smith, 2003). Furthermore, sufficient common planning time should be built into the schedules of classroom teachers and specialists so that they can address instructional needs and classroom concerns (DiPaola & Walther-Thomas, 2003). Research has indicated that the successful principal is one who can provide guidance, inspiration, and new vision for contemporary education (Bennis, 2003). Leadership is first and foremost responsible for the decisions one makes or fails to make (Heifetz & Laurie, 2001; Heifetz & Linsky, 2002). Among the attributes associated with trust were the communication of clear
29 expectations to parents and students, a shared vision among faculty, consistent administrative support for teachers, and processes for group decision making and problem solving (Hirsch & Emerick, 2007). Effective principals teach, they help, they encourage, but mostly they serve. They provide the steadiness and stability that teachers, students, parents, and communities need to function productively in a school environment (Drago-Severson, 2004). On the other hand, inadequate administrative support has been reported as a common point of dissatisfaction among beginning teachers (Certo & Fox, 2002; Colgan, 2004; Ingersoll & Smith, 2003; Kelly, 2004). Teacher turnover is particularly high among new teachers who are most dependent upon principal leadership and support. In a recent study, Hanushek et al. (2004) found that in Texas, the percentage of teachers leaving lowperforming schools (20 percent) is significantly higher than those leaving highperforming schools (15 percent). If schools are to succeed in retaining teachers, a proper infrastructure should be in place that allows teachers to focus most of their time and energy on teaching. With this in mind, school leaders should give new teachers less of a workload and fewer responsibilities and duties so that they can concentrate on their classrooms and students (Sargent, 2003). Beginning Teachers On the face of it, teacher turnover and shortage may appear relatively benign. Todays teaching force is the largest in history, and in recent years over 150,000 new teachers have graduated from preparation programs annually (National Commission on Teaching and Americas Future, 2003; National Education Association, 2003). A growing body of literature on how teachers develop expertise suggests that novices progress
30 through a continuum, or various stages, of development (Berliner, 1994, 2004; DarlingHammond & Bransford, 2005; Feiman-Nemser, 2001). Berliner, for example, describes five stagesfrom novice to expertthat characterize teacher development. His model focuses on the cognitive processes of teachers (e.g., how they think and describe their work). In each successive stage of Berliners continuum, teachers demonstrate more effective teaching practices as well as increasingly complex ways of thinking about these practices. Berliner characterizes the behavior of a novice as rational, relatively inflexible, and [tending] to conform to whatever rules and procedures he or she was told to follow (p. 206). As novices move through the various stages of development, they become more adept at reflecting on experiences and using this knowledge to inform their teaching practices. The expert, or final, stage in Berliners developmental continuum is characterized by teachers who act fluidly and effortlessly. The first years of teaching are typically the most challenging for beginning teachers. Often novice teachers struggle to survive day to day (Bartell, 2005). Novice teachers quickly find that what they learned in the university does not assist them in the day-to-day realities within the classroom (Good & Brophy, 2003). Further, there is significant research that demonstrates teacher perceptions toward student capabilities largely determine student performance (Delpit, 1995; Williams, 2003). A study in Texas found that teachers with zero to two years of experience were almost twice as likely as more experienced teachers (with 11 to 30 years of experience) to exit the Texas public schools and almost four times as likely to switch school districts (Hanushek, 2003). This trend is not necessarily out of character for professional fields as a whole; researchers disagree on whether attrition rates for new teachers are significantly higher
31 than for recent graduates in other professional fields (Ingersoll, 2000; Henke & Zahn, 2001). However, as large numbers of the teaching force are now near retirement, more young and inexperienced teachers will need to be hired to fill these pending vacancies. Beginning teachers successful adjustment to their new roles depends on many influencing factors (Gagnon, 2004; Thompson, 2004). Studies of beginning teachers from both traditional and alternative teacher preparation programs show that many new teachers do not feel adequately prepared to meet the challenges they face when they first begin teaching in their own classrooms (Berry, 2004; Public Education Network, 2003). Although novice teachers have received pre-service training, it cant possibly prepare them to do all of the things that teachers need to do at once as they teach (ONeill, 2004). Turnover is particularly problematic among novice teachers. A recent study of nearly 400,000 teachers in the state of Texas found that teachers who chose to change districts were more likely to take a job where there were fewer minorities, lower poverty rates, and higher student achievement. On average, teachers tended to transfer to districts that had 2 percent fewer African American students, 4.4 percent fewer Hispanic students, 6 percent fewer low-income students, and slightly higher average student test scores (Hanushek, Kain, & Rivkin, 2002). Within their first five years of teaching, about one-third of new teachers leave their positions (Darling Hammond, 2003). Historically, as many as half of all beginning teachers leave the profession within the first 5 years of teaching. Currently, 14 percent of new teachers exit by the end of the first year, 33 percent are gone within 3 years, and almost 50 percent leave in 5 years (Smith & Ingersoll, 2004a). As schools constitute organizations that are highly dependent on the coherence, commitment, and continuity of
32 their staff to produce positive student outcomes, a high degree of teacher turnover can be a serious and cost-intensive problem (Ingersoll, 2001a; NCTAF, 2003). High turnover rates disrupt childrens education in general, splinter instructional programs, and undermine professional development processes (Johnson, Kardos, Kauffman, Liu, & Donaldson, 2004). Research indicates that teachers with positive perceptions about their working conditions are much more likely to stay at their current school than educators who are more negative about their conditions of work, particularly in the areas of leadership and empowerment (Hirsch & Emerick, 2007, p. 14). Attrition The cost of extreme teacher attrition to public education beyond the expense of normal operating costs in districts is a waste of taxpayers money, and it does not contribute to the education of Texas children (Shockley, Guglielmino, & Watlinton, 2006). Teacher attrition is vital to improving student achievement. Teacher turnover affects the sense of school community and weakens the ability of the school to sustain improvement. (Ingersoll, 2001a; NCTAF, 2003). Teacher attrition continues to be a costly burden to many school districts. Texas loses between $8,000 and $48,000 for each beginning teacher who leaves (Darling-Hammond & Sykes, 2003). Attrition for students and teachers is a complex process that may also contribute to teachers need for increased support and guidance (Kauffman, Johnson, Kardos, Liu, & Peske, 2002). A contributing factor to teacher attrition is the stress experienced by novice teachers during their induction years into the teaching profession. Imazeki (2005) pointed out that few studies of teacher attrition differentiate between teacher exit from the profession and teacher transfer to another school or district. Her results suggested that
33 failing to differentiate teachers who transfer from those who leave the profession obscures the information on behavior of teachers who transferred. From a national perspective, 9 percent of U.S. public school teachers are reported to leave the profession before completing their first year of teaching, and more than 20 percent of new teachers leave their positions within three years (Kaplan & Owings, 2004). Further studies showed that between one-third and one-half of all teachers leave the profession within the first 5 years (Darling-Hammond, 2003; Ingersoll & Smith, 2003, 2004; Kaplan & Owings, 2004; Minarik et al., 2003). A majority of teachers are creative and motivated by a number of external factors, but they become frustrated with the inner workings of the organizations internal politics or within specific situations (Mathisen, 2006). When comparing attrition rates of beginning teachers after the first year of service to the rates of those who did participate in either an induction or mentoring program, researchers have found lower percentage rates of attrition for the latter group (Ingersoll & Smith, 2003). Turnover is particularly problematic among novice teachers. As schools constitute organizations that are highly dependent on the coherence, commitment, and continuity of their staff to produce positive student outcomes, a high degree of teacher turnover can be a serious and costintensive problem (Ingersoll & Smith, 2003; NCTAF, 2003). Self-Efficacy Teacher efficacy has proven to be powerfully related to many meaningful educational outcomes such as teachers persistence, enthusiasm, commitment, and instructional behavior, as well as student outcomes such as achievement, motivation, and self-efficacy beliefs (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001, p. 783). Therefore, teacher
34 efficacy affects the personal effectiveness of the teacher and plays a role in teacher turnover. Accommodating individual learning styles preferences through complementary educational, instructional, teaching, and counseling interventions results in increased academic achievement and improved student attitudes toward learning (Dunn, Griggs, Olson, Gorman, & Beasley, 1995). In his foundational treatise Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control, Bandura (1997) emphasized that personal efficacy is the key factor in initiation and execution of intentional actions, also known as agency. He illustrated his theory with the following statements: If people believe they have no power to produce results, they will not attempt to make things happen (p. 3). Self-belief does not necessarily ensure success, but self-disbelief assuredly spawns failure (Bandura, p. 77). In the development of ones self-efficacy, Banduras research suggested the term causation denotes the functional dependence between events that occur as ones definition of personal efficacy is evolving. In social cognitive theory, the human agency operates with an interdependent connection between certain critical factors. In the transactional view of self and society, internal factors in the form of cognitive, affective, and biological events; behavior; and environment events all operate as interaction determinants that influence on another bidirectionally (Bandura, 1997). The concepts of self-esteem and perceived self-efficacy are used interchangeably as though they represented the same phenomenon. In fact, they relate to entirely different things. According to Bandura, perceived self-efficacy is concerned with judgments of personal capability, whereas self-esteem is concerned with judgments of self-worth. There is no actual fixed relationship between beliefs about ones capabilities and whether one likes or dislikes oneself.
35 Perceived self-efficacy regulates human functioning through cognitive processing, motivational behavior, and ones mood or affect (Bandura, 1997). Based on social cognitive theoretical framework, a teachers self-efficacy is the extent to which the teacher believes he or she has the capacity to affect student performance or organize instruction that motivates student learning (Bandura, 1996; Brouwers & Tomic, 2003; Deemer & Minke, 1999; Denzine, Cooney, & McKenzie, 2005; Onafowora, 2004). The literature shows that teacher efficacy is a potent construct that determines instructional effectiveness (Deemer & Minke, 1999; Guskfy, 1987). Literature has provided strong evidence that teachers sense of efficacy, which is defined as teachers judgment of his or her capabilities to bring about desired outcomes of student engagement and learning, even among those students who maybe difficult or unmotivated (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001, p.783),. Bandura (2001) emphasized, in his guide for developing self-efficacy scales that self-efficacy is a domain and task-specific construct and its items should reflect this specificity. Darling-Hammond, Chung, and Frelow (2002) suggested that teachers sense of preparedness and sense of self-efficacy are related to their feelings about teaching and their plans to stay in the profession. Teacher efficacy has been linked to teachers enthusiasm for teaching (Allinder, 1994: Guskey, 1984) and their commitment to teaching (Coladarci, 1992; Evans & Tribble, 1986). A study conducted by Riggs et al. (1994) supports evidence that teachers sense of efficacy increases when they receive learning opportunities that provide them with greater skills. . The relationship between self-efficacy and teacher behavior has been well established in the research. Clearly, a teachers ability to reach students and affect change
36 begins with his or belief that he or she can. As Pajares (1996) stated, Efficacy beliefs help determine how much effort people will expend on an activity, how long they will persevere when confronting obstacles, and how resilient they will prove in the face of adverse situationsthe higher the sense of efficacy, the greater the effort, persistence, and resilience (p. 544). Gender Gender has also been a focus of a number of research studies in reference to teacher turnover. In Kriegs (2006) study of teacher quality and attrition, a large disparity in turnover rates was found when the results were sorted by the variable of gender. Kriegs study found that, contrary to popular perception; high-quality female teachers were more likely to stay in the profession but that retention among males was not related to teacher quality. Krieg also found that more females left for family reasons and males with higher degrees in the technical sciences were more likely to leave (pp. 13-27). If in fact, more women stay in the field than men, why are the percentages of male and female turnover rate comparable? Furthermore, women are more likely than men to enter teaching. Henke, Chen, Geis, and Knepper (2000), in a longitudinal study of more than 11,000 college graduates who received degrees between July1992 and June 1993, found that women were more likely than men to enter the teacher pipeline (i.e., to have taught in a school, to have become certified to teach, to have applied for a teaching position, or to be considering teaching).
37 Summary Previously, Chapter I indicated that there was a problem with teacher retention. Because teachers leave within their first 3 years of teaching, little or no data have been collected to find out why. Chapter II has identified the purpose of the study. Many factors contribute to teacher retention, such as principal leadership, mentoring, and beginning teachers perspectives. Chapter III seeks to address the phenomenon of teacher retention as it relates to mentoring and self-efficacy. In that chapter, research questions, research methodology, and designs will be created to prepare for the research study.
CHAPTER III METHOD OF PROCEDURE The primary purpose of the study was to identify whether teachers self-efficacy level and mentoring experience have a significant impact on those who remain in the field as opposed to those who leave. This study used descriptive statistics and T-test to determine if teachers have high or low self-efficacy levels and experiences in mentoring. In addition, evaluation ratings were grouped by levels of teaching such as elementary, middle and highs school teachers. Gender was used as a base to determine the difference between a male and female teachers perception of his or her self-efficacy levels or mentoring experiences. The study addressed the phenomenon of teacher retention as it relates to mentoring and self-efficacy scores. A teacher was able to participate in the survey if they were Texas certified in a public school, currently teaching and a first through fifth year teacher. Statement of the Problem Arguments have been made that the current demand for teachers is not a result of a shortage of teachers but rather due to the high attrition rate of existing teachers, particularly those who leave education within the first 5 years of their career (DarlingHammond & Sykes, 2003). Much attention and research have been focused on teacher
39 turnover; however, there is a need for new research on retention, particularly amongst first through fifth year teachers. Due to the research and turnover rates, teachers perceptions must be fully understood to change the turnover rates. Purpose of the Study The primary purpose of the study was to identify whether teachers self-efficacy level and mentoring experience has a significant impact on those who remain in the field and those who leave. Gender was carefully analyzed to see whether there is a relationship in how males and females view mentoring and their levels of self-efficacy as they relate to the school setting. Given the lack of current empirical studies using efficacy, teacher perspectives, and principals perceptions of mentoring programs as predictors of retention, it was necessary to examine to what extent, if any, teachers mentoring experience, self-efficacy, and gender are factors in teacher retention. Research Questions This study will focused on answering the following questions: 1. Is there a significant difference in Texas elementary teachers self- efficacy scores and mentoring scores in relation to gender? 2. Is there a significant difference in Texas middle-school teachers self- efficacy scores and mentoring scores in relation to gender? 3. Is there a significant difference in Texas high-school teachers self-efficacy scores and mentoring scores in relation to gender? Null Hypotheses The following hypotheses will be tested: Ho1- There is no statistically significant difference in self-efficacy scores and mentoring
40 scores between elementary school male and female teachers. Ho2- There is no statistically significant difference in self-efficacy scores and mentoring scores between middle-school male and female teachers. Ho3- There is no statistically significant difference in self-efficacy scores and mentoring experiences scores between high-school male and female teachers. Research Site Due to equal opportunity and factors associated with providing unbiased information, the research site was online. Participants were allowed to complete the survey online in the comfort of their home or school. Individuals who participated in the study currently reside in Texas. School Characteristics Due to the research status, 20 Texas schools participated in the research study. School campuses with enrollments of over 500 pupils were considered high enrollments schools. Schools with less than 500 pupils were considered low enrollment schools. Moreover, campuses with more than fifty percent minority enrollment were considered high minority campuses and those campuses with less than fifty percent minority enrollment were considered low minority campuses. Two elementary schools had less than 500 pupils enrolled at the time of the survey. Of the twenty schools selected, 10 of the schools had over fifty percent minority enrollment. Research Methodology Data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) for Windows software (standard) version 16. Within the study, Descriptive statistics, T-Test were utilized in the quantitative study. Coefficient alpha (also called
41 Cronbachs alpha or the reliability coefficient) was used in the scale reliability analysis. The predictor variables in the study are the following: self-efficacy level scores, and mentoring perception level scores. In the study, gender will be the criterion variable. The results from the surveys were reported in tabular form. Responses obtained in the study were compared not only by years of teaching, but also by gender frequencies. Nominal categories were created from the survey response. Each response is an indicator of teacher attitude. In addition, the researcher will group each of the groups by gender to observe the responses. Research Design A quantitative design was used to capture the complex reality of teachers perceptions on mentoring and self-efficacy. The study incorporated Banduras Instrument of Self-Efficacy for Teachers, which measures the self-efficacy level of each teacher in the study. The second survey entitled, Induction Mentoring Program for Novice Teachers, adopted from Kansas State University, is also utilized in the survey. The study uses multiple sources of data: surveys, district Websites, the Texas Public Education Information Management System (PIEMS), and the Texas Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS). First, each teacher had the opportunity to answer the self-efficacy survey. Upon completion, each first-year teacher, second-year teacher, and so on was given a survey entitled the Induction Mentoring Program for Novice Teachers. When completed, the researcher took the first surveys and grouped each one by gender and teaching level. Next, the researcher retrieved the second survey and groups each year teacher by gender. Charts for tallying the prescribed structured responses were created. After all the
42 responses were tallied, tables were constructed with the totals needed to compute simple percentages and statistical significance for all comparison groups.
Table 1 Summary of Variables found Independent Variable Teacher Gender Dependent Self-Efficacy Levels Mentoring Experiences Levels in which the teacher teaches Population and Sample The participants in the study included elementary, middle, and high school teachers in Texas with one to five years of teaching experience who are certified in Texas as of spring 2008. The study includes 20 of 7,870 Texas schools. The Texas Education Agency provided the names of different schools in Texas .The total sample for the study was 150 teachers. Using the sample size calculator with a 95 percent confidence level and a confidence interval of 10 percent, at least 50 teachers will need to respond to represent the desired population. The researchers school was not included in the study. The anticipated 106 first through fifth year teachers were given an informed consent letter and asked to participate in the research study by responding to a teacher survey and a teacher efficacy scale. The investigation was implemented online with the approval of the principal and teacher of each perspective school. Teachers were asked to rank their perceived general self-efficacy perception scores, as well as their mentoring
43 experience scores. Teachers were asked to rank other independent item measures relevant to teacher retention such as job satisfaction in relation to self-efficacy and their relationship with their mentor, community involvement and create a positive school climate. Instrumentation Two questionnaires were used in the study. The first questionnaire that was used is entitled, Banduras Instrument Teacher Self-Efficacy Scale, which consists of 31 items. The survey includes the following headings: Efficacy to Influence Decision Making, Efficacy to Influence School Resources, Instructional Self-Efficacy, Disciplinary Self-Efficacy, Efficacy to Enlist Parental Involvement, Efficacy to Enlist Community Involvement and Efficacy to Create a Positive School Climate. A second survey designed by the Kansas State University Professional Development School Project was used in this study. The survey includes 12 statements regarding the teachers mentoring experiences. Each question centers on the teachers experience with his or her mentor. All teachers were asked to respond to each of the statements. Permission has been verbally granted to use this model. The multiple-choice questions was used as a data source to determine the participants perceptions on leadership, mentorship, professional development, induction programs, and mentorship. Validity The authors bias was addressed by using triangulation, which included the use of two surveys. The approach supported the validity of the collected quantitative data described by participants of the investigation. The objective was to analyze the perceptions of each teachers experience with mentoring and understand the feelings of
44 the teachers. Each participant was able to form his or her perception without any coaching or promoting from the researcher. This study employed different strategies that may promote validity. The use in the survey of multiple questions creates unbiased questioning techniques. Reliability Joppe (2000) defines reliability as, The extent to which results are consistent over time and an accurate representation of the total population under the study is referred to as reliability and if the results of a study can be reproduced under a similar methodology, then the research instrument is considered to be reliable (p. 1). The study used the Test-Retest Reliability method on each survey to confirm consistency among the different administrations. The first administration was given in the months of February and March. The same test was administered in June of 2008 to determine if the test is reliable and if each respondent answered the same or felt the same way about a particular issue. In addition Dr. Banduras Self-Efficacy Test and the Kansas State University Mentoring survey have been used in numerous studies and developed by groups of educational doctors who have researched various topics in relation to self-efficacy or mentoring Dr. Bandura Banduras exercise self-efficacy scale: Validation in an Australian cardiac rehabilitation setting. A validity and reliability study of the coping self-efficacy scale by Margaret Chesney, Torsten Neilands, Donald Chambers, Jonelle Taylor and Susan Folkman. Bobo Doll experiment
45 A multi-study investigation of self-efficacy measurement issues by Shane Spiller and Robert D. Hatfield. A Production Self-efficacy Scale: An Exploratory Study by Mosley, Don, C, Jr. Boyar, Scott L, Carson, Charles, M.Pearson, Allison W. KSU Survey The survey was conducted and tested by a group of professors from Kansas State University. The survey is new and have not been utilized in many studies, but was developed by a team of educational doctors. Each survey has multiple questions, which reduces bias. Second, individuals who participated in the study were not familiar with the researcher; therefore, the answers will be more accurate. Reliability of the survey instruments and the data analysis consisted of correlation coefficients, which can be determined using tests, questionnaires, and instruments (Airasian & Gay, 2003, p. 101). Question responses may be interpreted once, and then the researcher may follow up on the questions. When looking for reliability, the researcher will test the instrument numerals and then retest. Due to the fact that the survey utilized in the research is research based, the above means may be unnecessary. In ensuring reliability, the researcher will conduct field-testing at a local elementary, middle, and high school in Texas. Data will be taken back to the participant in the study. Participants will be able to form their own perceptions without any coaching or prompting from the researcher. Approval was appropriate in allowing the perspective schools to participate in the teacher questionnaire. The researcher followed the necessary district approval and obtained the IRB approvals prior to the collection of data.
46 Data Collection and Recording The teacher retention study was quantitative in design. Copies of Banduras SelfEfficacy Measurement and Kansas State University Mentoring Project were sent to all certified teachers who had also taught up to five total years. A cover letter consisting of a description of the study and informed consent information were included. Upon completing the survey online, the teacher was suggesting that he or she wanted to participate in the survey. Administrators in each building were contacted by the researcher and asked to distribute the materials to all participants. All principals had extra hard copies of the survey for teachers who did not feel comfortable using the internet. Participants were asked to complete the surveys online within 10 days from the date of receipt. A follow-up phone call was sent five days after the initial phone call was made. Primary data collection was administered through survey research of firstthrough fifth-year teachers. Responses from each of the participants on self-efficacy and mentoring perceptions were analyzed. Important data will be extracted, coded, and categorized according to gender. Both of the surveys were summarized and analyzed. The statistical analyses were performed using the SPSS statistical analysis program to compute the results gather from Banduras Self-Efficacy Measurement and Kansas State University Survey. An alpha level of 0.05 was used to determine statistical significance. Frequencies and percentages were generated for the variables of age, level teachers taught and the scores generated from the survey Analysis of Data Means, standard deviations, and number of responses were calculated for the total score of Banduras Self-Efficacy Measurement and Kansas State University
47 Survey. A T-test was used to view the relationship between male and female perceptions concerning mentoring and self-efficacy. The total scores for both instruments were calculated and analyzed to examine the relationship. Research questions one through four guided the examination of the differences in the relationship between Banduras instrument and Kansas State University Instrument, depending on two predictors: gender and teaching assignment grade level. Descriptive statistics and a T-Test were used where appropriate. Relevant themes and patterns were identified. The perceptions of each participant were complied into a big picture explanation of the topic. Analysis and conclusions was based on individual experiences shared by the participants and experiences and observations of the researcher. Table1 Summary of Analysis for Research Questions Research Question 1-3 Survey Question 1-33 Dr. Bandura 1-12 Kansas State University Analysis Descriptive Statistics Discriminatory Analysis T-Test Summary of Methodology Research Questions 1 through 3: In order to obtain an average value, all the data values were added up and divided for each one of the survey questions for Dr. Albert Bandura and the Kansas State University Mentoring Group to obtain the average for each particular question. Once the average was provided for each question, the average of each question was then added to the average the other questions and a total was provided. Once the total was provided, the mean was then divided by the number of
48 responses and a mean score was provided separately for elementary, middle and high school males who participated in the survey and all elementary, middle and high females who participated in the survey. SPSS was utilized to obtain the mean and standard deviation. The standard deviation was derived from finding the average sets o of numbers. Next, the average was subtracted from the numbers on the original survey. The new values from the subtracted numbers are the deviations form the average. All of the deviations were squared individually. After each value was squared, all the new values were added together. After adding all the numbers together, the sum was divided by the amount of numbers on the original list. Upon obtaining the sum that was divided, the square root was taken, which provided the standard deviation. Chapter III presented research questions, research methodology, and the research design for the study. Variables were described in the study. Population and sample selection were also discussed. Sections describing instrumentation, validity, and reliability were analyzed. Data collection and components of how the data would be collected were discussed. Different tests were described in order to allow the researcher to obtain information relevant to the study. Data collection and result findings in the study will be included in Chapter IV. Finally, Chapter V presents the summary
CHAPTER IV ANALYSIS OF DATA The purpose of the chapter is to present the analysis of data collected in the study of factors that prevent or keep teachers in the education field. This section describes findings as they relate to each research question. Each question will be followed by a quantitative description of some of the survey questions in relation to the percentage of respondents. Descriptive information in the form of means and p values is reported followed by statistically significant findings. Characteristics of Survey Respondents A total of 106 surveys were taken on line by Texas public teachers who had taught for 1 to 5 years. After making phone calls to the superintendent in the districts and principals, a total of 106 surveys were received for a response rate of 84 percent. The responses are recorded online and have been used to help compare means among male and female respondents in each teaching level throughout the chapter. The results were used to address the research questions and hypotheses developed for the study. Descriptive data of the participants gender and level of teacher are included. Descriptions of the research site and the population and sample are included in this chapter. Statistical analysis of each research question is reviewed, and the results of data analyses are presented in tables to illustrate statistical significance. Tables were also used to delineate correlations between teacher self-efficacy scores and mentoring scores. Statistical analyses of the hypotheses are also presented. Research has linked teachers with positive mentoring experiences and high self-
50 efficacy levels to teacher retention. Information on teacher retention which deals with perceptions plays a leading role in student achievement. It is important to explore which teacher characteristics correlated with a teachers self-reported perceptions of selfefficacy as well as mentoring experiences in the Texas school setting. The more positive a teacher is, the more successful the student will become. Presentation of Quantitative Data Upon identifying all first through fifth year teachers in Texas, it was determined that the elementary teachers participated more in the survey as compared to middle and high school teachers as indicated in Table 1. It was further determined that more females participated in the research study overall than male teachers as indicated in Tables 2,3,4, and 5. Finally, it was determined that further research on gender inequalities in schools may be appropriate. Description and Statistical Analysis Teachers (N=106) in Texas currently employed in Texas public schools in grades K-12 completed the two surveys. Of those surveyed, 107 completed enough of the survey for data analysis. Among the 106 participants, 87 were females which equated to 81.1 percent and 19 were males which equated to 16.9 percent. All data collected on the Kansas State University survey on mentoring and Albert Banduras Self-Efficacy survey were summarized and analyzed using a frequency distribution summary, a profile of means and standard deviations and t-test analysis. The results were used to address the research questions and hypotheses developed for the study. As illustrated in Table 1, 48 respondents served Texas Elementary students, 29 respondents served Texas Middle School students and 29 served Texas High School students.
51 Descriptive data of the participants gender and teaching levels are included. Descriptions of the research site and the population and sample are included in this chapter. Statistical analysis of each research question is reviewed, and results of data analyses are presented in tables to illustrate statistical significance. Tables were also used to delineate correlations between elementary, middle and high school teachers mentoring experiences and self-efficacy levels. Statistical analyses of the hypotheses are also presented. TABLE 2 PERCENTAGE OF TEACHERS AT EACH LEVEL TEACHING LEVELS Elementary Middle High N=107 %TOTAL 45.3 27.4 27.4 Table 3 PARTICPANT'S GENDER Gender Female Male NUMBER 87 19 Table 4 PARTICIPANTS GENDER BY TEACHING LEVEL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Gender Female Male Number 41 7 Percent 85.4 7 PERCENT 81.1 16.9
MIDDLE SCHOOL Table 5 Gender Female Male Number 28 1 Percent 96.9 3.4
HIGH SCHOOL Table 6
GENDER Female Male
NUMBER 18 11
PERCENT 62.1 37.9
Participants responses were analyzed using the percentage of responses generated in Table 4. The participants responses provided answers and insight into how teachers feel about their self-efficacy levels. In addition, the top 5 responses were selected according to the survey in each category and level of teaching. One question asked, How much can you influence the decisions that are made in the school? Fifty seven percent of the elementary male teachers believed that they could have some influence over the school, which also allows these teachers to feel empowered. On the other hand, fortyeight female teachers believed that they had some influence over the decisions that are
53 made in the school. A second question which had a high percentage was, How much can you do to get the instructional materials and equipment you need? Seventy one percent of the males believed that they had some influence over resources as compared to thirty-four females. A third question which generated a high percentage rate was, How much can you do to keep students on task on difficult assignments? Fourteen males believed that they could do quite a bit to keep students on task, as compared to sixty-eight female teachers. A fourth question which had a high efficacy rate was, How much can you do to get parents to become involved in school activities? Only twenty-eight percent of the male teachers believed that they had some influence over parental involvement as compared to sixtyone female elementary teachers. Finally, the question that generated a high response was How much can you do to increase students memory of what they have been taught in previous lessons? Seventy-one percent of the males believe that they have quite a bit of influence on increasing students memory, while sixty-eight of the female teachers believe that they can do quite a bit in increasing a students memory. In the self-efficacy survey, there were questions that yielded low levels of selfefficacy levels. The first question was How much can you help other teachers with their teaching skills? Twenty eight of the males believed that they would be of little help, while twelve females believed that they could assist very little. Secondly, when teachers were asked, How much can you do to enhance collaboration between teachers and the administration to make the school run effectively, fifty-seven of the males believed that they could do very little to enhance the collaboration between teachers and administrators, while twenty-two of the teachers believed that they could do very little to
54 allow the school to run effectively. Another question that was asked in the survey was, How much can you do to reduce school drop out? Of the elementary males surveyed on the question of school drop out, forty two percent believed that t