Date of Award

Summer 2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership

Abstract

This study examined the effect of mentoring on beginning teacher retention in the Bossier Parish Schools, a northwest Louisiana parish school system. The sample consisted of complete responses from 161 participants out of a population of 499 Pre-K through 12th grade teachers who had participated in the Louisiana Teacher Assistance and Assessment Program (LaTAAP) between August 1998 and May 2007. Participants completed a 28-item questionnaire that was posted on the internet via SurveyMonkey. The questionnaire was divided into three sections: (a) general information, (b) appraisal of mentoring and professional development activities, and (c) background information.

Statistical analyses were performed according to data type: correlated t-test for pre- and post-measures; Mann-Whitney U and Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA for between-group differences. Statistical analysis indicated a significant relationship between the mentor's assistance and the mentee's competency in the following areas: (a) teaching students with special needs, (b) classroom management and student discipline skills, and (c) communicating school and district culture. A significant relationship was found between gender and retention. Additional findings indicated the following: (a) 66% of the participants rated their skill levels higher, post-mentoring; (b) participants rated observations of certified teachers as the most helpful professional development activity; and (c) 77% of the participants indicated satisfaction with the teaching profession. Conversely, no significant relationship was found between teacher retention and the following variables: (a) students' socio-economic status; (b) teachers' age bracket; (c) race; (d) initial mode of certification; (e) grade-level taught; and (f) duration of mentoring. Additionally, no significant relationship was found between the mentor's assistance and the mentee's competency with regard to the following variables: (a) executing content standards; (b) planning effective classroom instruction skills; (c) communicating with parents; and (d) assessing student progress. Implications for practice and recommendations for further study were presented.

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