Term of Award

Spring 2010

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Charles A. Reavis

Committee Member 1

Gregory Chamblee

Committee Member 2

Brenda Marina

Abstract

This mixed-method study examined mentor teachers' perception of the extent to which first-year teachers exhibit the knowledge, skills and dispositions of accomplished teachers during the 2008-2009 school year in a large school system in central Georgia. The data, collected from an online survey of mentor teachers, were compared to the data gathered from responses of six teachers from that same system in open-ended interviews which were conducted during the beginning weeks of their second year of teaching. Comparisons were made based on route to certification of the first-year teacher. The highest rated skill in both certification groups was in building of relationships with colleagues and students. The lowest rated skills in both certification groups were in using student assessment for planning and differentiating instruction. Alternatively certified teachers had higher mean ratings on three of the twenty-three indicators: classroom organization, accurate communication of directions and procedures and seeking to grow professionally. Traditionally certified teachers were rated higher by their mentor teachers on all other indicators. Interview responses from teachers who had completed their first year of teaching confirmed the survey data. Implications include additional preparation of both groups of teachers in data driven planning and differentiation of instruction and strong mentoring programs for all beginning teachers.

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