Term of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Administration

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)


Department of Educational Administration

Committee Chair

Ron Davison

Committee Member 1

Stephen Jenkins

Committee Member 2

Harbison Pool

Committee Member 3

Fred Page

Committee Member 4

Alice Hosticka


Because of the importance of the first-year of teaching, and because administrators are key players in the induction process, a need exists to examine perceptions of teachers and administrators toward the first-year teaching experience. This study examined Georgia middle-level school principals and second-year teachers on their perceptions of three variables related to the first-year teaching experience. Specifically, the study addressed (a) the types and degree of prevalence of problems first-year teachers in Georgia middle-level schools encounter, (b) the types of support offered to first-year teachers, and (c) the types of support needed. Random sampling resulted in 265 second-year teachers and 260 principals receiving separate mailed surveys, with parallel questions for both designed to elicit responses that would offer comparative data. A total return rate of62% was obtained. The collected data were tested for statistical significance (p < 05). Frequency of responses, measures of central tendency, and standard deviations were determined for each item, with chi-square used to compare frequencies. Comparisons of group means and standard deviations using multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA) allowed for testing for collective differences, while also setting Type I error constant. Data showed the first-year teaching experience among this sample was generally positive, with 94% of teachers returning for a second-year A significant finding, however, was that differences do exist between these teachers and principals regarding the degree to which they perceive that problems exist, support is offered, and support is needed. Teachers indicated fewer problems existed and more support was needed than principals reported. For items that teachers are more responsible, such as maintaining appropriate classroom discipline, principals reported more frequent occurrence than teachers. On items for which principals are responsible, such as having inadequate school equipment, principals reported less frequent occurrence. Areas of support inherent in a middle-level school setting, such as teaming, team leaders, and mentors, were reported at a lower rate of needed support. Recommendations for future studies to address perceptual disparities were presented The data supported the use of staff" development programs on first-year teacher's concerns; first-year teacher's manual, more support from colleges and service agencies, with specific teaching needs addressed, strong administrative leadership; and more monitoring of the teaching experience, combined with continual opportunities for dialogue.

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