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Induction programs for beginning teachers : making a difference Lim, Wendy Ann

Abstract

This study was based on the experiences of six first year teachers in a District sponsored induction program. The purpose of the study is two-fold: to gain some insights into the perceptions of beginning teachers (in terms of their perceived concerns, level of support and dilemmas encountered), and to determine the impact of the induction program on their first year teaching experiences. It is hoped that the results of this study will help school districts design more effective induction programs to support beginning teachers as they make the transition from a university-based preparation program to full-time employment in the schools. Data were collected through focussed, semi-structured interviews. Over the duration of the year, four interviews were conducted with each first year teacher. The interviews were audiotaped and then transcribed verbatim. Through analysis of the transcripts, common perceptions were identified which captured some of the issues and concerns that they experienced in their first year of teaching. The findings of this study lead to the general conclusion that beginning teachers experience difficulties in their first year of teaching and that these difficulties are "dilemmas" that appear to be endemic to teaching. In addition, the findings identify some specific support components of induction programs that are helpful in assisting beginning teachers survive their first year of teaching. Finally, the findings lead to a general conclusion that induction success is very much dependent on the context of each beginning teacher, specifically the characteristics of the beginning teacher, the context of the teaching situation, and the support available for that beginning teacher.

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