Academic journal article New Waves

Effective Induction and Mentoring Programs for K-12 Teachers and Teacher Education Faculty: Perspectives of an Operational Model

Academic journal article New Waves

Effective Induction and Mentoring Programs for K-12 Teachers and Teacher Education Faculty: Perspectives of an Operational Model

Article excerpt


Huge amounts of resources have been invested in preparing teachers for elementary and secondary schools in the United States. The amount has been increasing due to demands for specialized categories of teachers and the rapid development of technology integration (Crosco, 2014; Moye, 2009). However, a review of literature shows that a significant five percentage of the beginning teachers actually dropped out of the teaching profession in the first five years of practice (Ingersoll, 2003; Ingersoll, 2012). The report is alarming. Beginning teacher dropout is a clear indication of waste of resources invested in teacher education (Moye, 2009). Recent study by Morello (2014) shows that the teacher turnover rate in elementary and secondary schools is higher than ever. Similarly, many higher education faculties are coming from an elementary and secondary school teaching background and some of them could not survive in the first few years of their career in higher education (Basu, 2012; Rosenman & Lunning, 2014). Previous studies (California State University, 2011; Soomro & Ahmad, 2013; Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, 2001) of faculty retention in higher education yielded similar results. A call for examining the reasons behind the failing faculties in elementary, secondary and higher education institutes is necessary so that effective measures can be taken to retain our best teachers in the teaching profession. In helping beginning teachers and higher education faculty to get established and be successful, this paper attempts to explore the institutional possibilities in formalizing faculty induction and mentoring programs in K-12 and higher education institutes through the development of an operational model. Research has shown that through the development and implementation of a faculty induction program and a faculty mentoring program, new teachers in elementary and secondary schools have been able to get themselves well established in their new positions (Ingersoll & Strong, 2011; Ingersoll & Smith, 2004). Many of them have demonstrated excellent performance in their career and are sustainable in the teaching profession. In higher education institutes, administrators are encouraged to establish formal mentoring programs for fostering collegiality for newcomers to a department (Bensimon, Ward & Sanders, 2000; Mark, Link, Morahan, Pololi, Reznik & Tropez-Sims, 2001). Through mentoring programs, many new faculties are empowered and have sustained their tenure in higher education (Luna & Cullen, 1995).

A Conceptual Framework of Faculty Induction and Mentoring Programs

The development of faculty induction and mentoring programs is based on the idea of investment in continuous support and development of human resources. It is originated from the conceptual framework of Edwards Deming's Total Quality Management (TQM) which consists of fourteen points of business management highlights (Swinton, 2013):

1. Create constancy of purpose

2. Adopt the new philosophy

3. Cease inspection, require evidence

4. Improve the quality of supplies

5. Continuously improve production

6. Train and educate all employees

7. Supervisors must help people

8. Drive out fear

9. Eliminate boundaries

10. Eliminate the use of slogans

11. Eliminate numerical standards

12. Let people be proud of their work

13. Encourage self-improvement

14. Commit to ever-improving quality

All these fourteen points have strongly endorsed the intent to promote the philosophy of continuous improvement by updating the products and services of a prospering business. Continuous improvement is achieved through directing investment of resources in in-service of employees. TQM's advocacy for continuing improvement of products and services has significant implications for implementation in education. It is the driving force behind the development of the faculty induction and mentoring programs. …

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