ERIC Identifier: ED269406
Publication Date: 1986-00-00
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Teacher Education
Current Developments in Teacher Induction Programs. ERIC Digest
The evolution of induction programs began twenty years ago as schools
began to explore schemes to help the beginning teacher enter the teaching
profession. The literature cites studies of beginning teachers' problems in
every area of teaching from instructional techniques to classroom management.
Veenman's (1984) literature survey focuses on the problems as perceived by
beginning teachers and the behavioral changes which teachers undergo as they
react to those perceptions. His characterizations of beginning teachers are
drawn from the education literature in Great Britain, Australia, and the United
States. Veenman provides extensive international references which describe
attempts to assist beginning teachers through induction programs containing
common objectives and procedures.
Authors have debated different ways to smooth out the induction of new
teachers into school systems: extending preservice to five years, introducing
internships, and establishing induction programs for the first one-to-three
years of teaching are the three ways most often mentioned. Since 1980, many
state legislatures have mandated induction programs such as "Entry Year
Assistance Program," "Beginning Teacher Helping Program," "Assistance
/Assessment," and "Teacher Mentor Program." A few states have gone so far as to
specify program content and to design the delivery system. Most programs have
been established so recently that effectiveness studies are not yet available.
WHY ARE INDUCTION PROGRAMS NEEDED?
A few years ago education professionals referred to the first three years of
teaching as "induction." BITING THE APPLE by Kevin Ryan and others, is one book
among many depicting the plight of beginning teachers left to flounder in
isolation as they attempt to deal with their first year of full teaching
responsibilities. Today, "induction" implies a planned, organized orientation
Formal induction programs provide continuity between the closely supervised
preservice experience and the assumption of full classroom responsibilities
(Hall 1982; Griffin 1985). Inexperience accounts for most of a new teacher's
problems. Student teachers have not survived a series of instructional failures,
experienced class boredom (or their own), discovered a wall of class learning
resistance, or felt the isolated entrapment of teaching "forever." Student
teachers do not typically experience the nonteaching demands of meetings,
paperwork, supervision of extracurricular activities, and student/parent
conferences. McDonald and others (1980-83) assert that a new teacher worries
about being "in charge" of a class, losing control of the class, over- and
underestimating students, and evaluation.
From the school administration's viewpoint, induction programs socialize the
beginning teacher (Schlechty 1985; Galvez-Hjornevik 1985). Schlechty (1985)
defines induction as the implantation of school standards and norms so deeply
within the teacher that the teacher's conduct completely and spontaneously
reflects those norms. School administrators are also intent upon recruiting and
retaining high quality teachers. Thus the induction period is used to assess new
recruits' strengths and weaknesses and to bring their performances up to school
The teaching profession regards induction as the first step in staff
development, as a link between student teacher and professional, and as the
cable of communication between state agencies and school districts, between
public policy makers and teachers' organizations (Hall 1982). Huling-Austin
(1985) succinctly states the highest goal obtainable by most induction programs:
"To provide the support and assistance necessary for the successful development
of beginning teachers who enter the profession with the background, ability, and
personal characteristics to become acceptable teachers."
WHAT PROGRAMS EXIST?
In 1979, Educational Testing Service funded a survey of the history and
evaluation of induction programs (McDonald and others 1980-83). Many types of
teacher orientation programs are listed in this report along with reasons for
their establishment. Galvez-Hjornevik (1985) lists eleven programs for beginning
teachers established between 1968 and 1978. Andrew (1981) describes a New
Hampshire induction program which is unique because it does not collaborate with
institutions of higher education, yet provides a teacher's sole route to
recertification. Moreover, it is neither federally nor state funded. Defino and
Hoffman (l984) document special purpose induction programs (eg. for rural
teachers) in Hawaii, Idaho, Missouri, Vermont, West Virginia, Washington and
Alaska. Varah and others (1986) provides an extensive survey of teacher
induction literature and reports on one of the longest running induction
programs, the Teacher Induction Experience, implemented in 1974 by the
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Since 1980 the state legislatures of Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, South
Carolina, Arizona, Oregon, and North Carolina have mandated the establishment of
programs for beginning teachers. Defino and Hoffman (1984) describe these and
other current projects in Nevada, New Mexico and Pennsylvania. Galvez-Hjornevik
(1985) and others have recorded a wide variety of new programs. Among the more
frequently examined in the literature are the California Mentor Teacher Program
(California Department of Education 1983), the Oklahoma Entry Year Assistance
Program (Elsner 1985), the multiple induction programs studied by researchers
from the Research and Development Center for Teacher Education (R&DCTE) at
the University of Texas in Austin (Griffin 1985; Huling-Austin 1985) and the
Career Development Program of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina (Schlechty
1985). So many induction programs are presently being developed that the
November 1985 issue of EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP and the January-February 1986
issue of the JOURNAL OF TEACHER EDUCATION are devoted to induction issues.
Additionally, the Association of Teacher Educators' Commission on the Induction
Process in conjunction with the R&DCTE has produced a national directory of
WHAT INDUCTION PROGRAM OUTCOMES HAVE BEEN OBSERVED?
Other than the subjective feedback of induction program participant surveys,
there have been few studies published containing "hard data" (Griffin 1985).
Professionals saw induction programs as a way to mature teachers faster, to
retain teachers by acquainting them with the system, and to avoid the type of
frustration which invites good teachers to give up teaching. Such objectives
take time to realize and additional time to develop measuring devices (Elsner
Reports of studies conducted by R&DCTE of induction programs have
recently been released. Griffin (1985) cites some observations that induction
program developers would do well to note. Current induction programs have shown
great potential to alter the behavior of beginning teachers. Inductees, as new
employees in any profession, have shown a willingness to adjust to their new
surroundings even when the behavior runs contrary to theory and practice taught
in teacher preparation programs.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?
The abundance of different types of induction programs has increased the
demand for a comparative examination of programs. Griffin (1985) observes the
need to explore the influence of legislated demands on program content and
delivery systems. He suggests that mandated program objectives should be
examined to measure their consistency with actual implementation of induction
programs. Huling-Austin cautions that mandated induction programs often limit
their scope of effectiveness to the minimum standards as legislated. This
tendency argues further for careful examination of program intent, content, and
The most apparent product of the massive implementation of induction
programs, thus far, has been the overwhelming demand for research on common
program concerns: assessment, evaluation, specification of induction contents,
and the definition of program objectives.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Andrew, M. D. "Statewide Inservice without College and Universities: New
Hampshire's Quiet Move toward Teachers' Control." JOURNAL OF TEACHER EDUCATION
32(1) January-February 1981: 24-28.
California State Department of Education. "California Mentor Teacher Program.
Program Advisory." Sacramento, CA: Califonia State Department of Education,
1983. ED 241 473.
Defino, M. E. and J. V. Hoffman. "A Status Report and Content Analysis of
State Mandated Teacher Induction Programs." Report #9057. 1984. ED 251 438.
Elsner, K. "First Year Evaluation Results from Oklahoma's Entry-Year
Assistance Program." Paper presented at annual meeting of the Association of
Teacher Educators. 1984. ED 242 706.
Galvez=Hjornevik, C. "Teacher Mentors: A Review of the Literature." Research
and Development Center for Teacher
WHAT MAKES A GOOD INDUCTION PROGRAM?
The intent of all induction programs is to transform a student teacher
graduate into a competent career teacher. Schlechty (1985) suggests that signs
of effective induction programs can be observed in the attitudes and behaviors
of the faculty and administration: support of school norms and the general
conformity of teacher performance to those norms. He presents a framework for
evaluation of induction programs which can be translated into a checklist of
eight program qualities. His framework is intended to apply to induction
programs of vastly differing content and delivery structures. Four program
characteristics show the influence of other professions:
1. The program explains to the inductees that the process of their selection
is based on special requirements and that induction training is crucial to their
2. The induction process is divided into progressive stages of achievement.
3. The program cultivates mutual support within peer groups.
4. The training is oriented toward long-term career goals.
The remaining characteristics apply directly to the needs of beginning
5. Administratively-set expectations and norms of teacher conduct are clearly
articulated and disseminated.
6. Teachers must assimilate a professional vocabulary.
7. New teachers receive supervision, coaching, demonstration, and assessment.
8. The responsibility for supervision should be distributed throughout the
faculty in a tightly organized, consistent, and continuous program.
Foster (1982) and Griffin (1985) emphasize the importance of specifying
program objectives in behavioral terminology and the necessity for continuous
feedback among program participants. Griffin further cautions program developers
on the inappropriate use of research results as definitions for expected teacher
behavior. Program objectives should be concretely stated expectations of teacher
behavior which reflect specific school standards.
Several references point out that induction programs should contain three
information sources: the community, the school, and the teaching profession. All
must be introduced to the beginning teacher, with emphasis on teaching as an
area of life-long learning (Hall, 1982). Special needs programs (e.g., those
which introduce the new teacher into a rural or urban environment with which the
teacher has had no previous experience) most often use this approach (Defino and
WHAT AREAS SHOULD INDUCTION PROGRAMS COVER?
There is no shortage of proposals for program content (Griffin and Hukill,
1983; Galvez-Hjornevik, 1985; Zimpher, 1985). Topics of importance are usually
taken from surveys of senior teachers and administrators who are experienced in
the evaluation of shortcomings of first-year teachers. To vastly varying
degrees, all programs contain elements of faculty and facility introduction,
classroom management, student discipline, and professional obligations. A new
teacher needs to be exposed to a variety of teaching techniques and evaluation
processes. Some programs equally instruct and assess the beginning teacher;
others emphasize assistance to the teacher rather than using the program as an
indicator of the beginner's competency. Crucial problems arise when evaluation
is mistaken for assessment and induction programs are used as wash-out programs.
Schlechty (1985) emphasizes that new hirees in any field are hired with the
expectation that they will "survive" the induction process and start on their
way to full-term careers.
HOW DO INDUCTION PROGRAMS WORK?
The development and implementation of a wide variety of induction programs is
well-documented, including descriptions of their delivery systems. Like the
terms "induction" and "internship," many elements and intents of teacher
induction programs are borrowed from other professions. Business and medicine
are the most common (Galvez-Hjornevik, 1985; Schlechty and others, 1984). Some
are based on academic induction, such as formal seminars and informal workshops
on the system and what is expected of the beginning teacher. Teacher induction
started from the introductory lecture and, in some school systems, has evolved
into sophisticated multipurpose programs. The following are brief descriptions
of some of the most prevalent induction program components.
Internship Status. Beginning teachers enter as teaching interns, often at
reduced salary. The intern combines full teaching responsibility (albeit at
reduced class loads) with academic studies. These programs may lead to a
master's degree, an advanced level of certification, a high rung on a career
ladder or a fully qualified teaching certificate after one to three years of
program participation (Defino and Hoffman, 1984).
The Mentor. Beginning teachers are assigned to a senior teacher in their
area. The senior teacher supplies information, and oversees the daily maturation
of the beginner's teaching and classroom management skills. Continuous helping
contact between the beginner and the senior teacher (theoretically) provides the
support and problem-solving resources for expedient teacher development.
The Committee. Beginning teachers are each assigned to an induction
committee. The committee is a professional development team designed to
supervise, provide information to and train the beginning teacher in
school-approved classroom techniques and procedures. The committee usually
consists of the school principal, a consultant on curriculum and instruction,
and a peer teacher, the latter often as a mentor. The administrators are
responsible for instruction, assessment, and evaluation; the peer teacher
provides daily guidance and program continuity. Often the duties of the peer
teacher include evaluation as well as helping the new teacher adjust to the
professional environment (Defino and Hoffman, 1984; Schlechty and others, 1984).
The Committee, Plus or Minus. In some programs the induction committee serves
not one inductee but many. In other programs the committee is supported by a
separate group of trained evaluators, which removes the onus of evaluation from
the committee/inductee relationship (California State Department of Education,
1983; Galvez-Hjornevik, 1985). Other forms of the committee include
department-based team teaching and interdepartmental teacher coaching. These
programs of teachers-helping-teachers are not restricted to benefiting beginners
but are also applicable to developing the skills of experienced teachers.
Orientation Seminars. The seminar is used to instruct inductees on subjects
that the administration deems important, issues that peer teachers have found
essential or helpful, and concerns expressed by the participating inductees. It
is almost never the sole component of an induction program. More sophisticated
programs address each group's concerns directly by providing separate seminars
for inductees, peer teachers, school administrators and consultants. (Foster,
1982; Galvez-Hjornevik, 1985).
Experts' opinions of what ought to constitute an induction program are based
on existing programs in nonteaching professions and proposed programs which
address documented areas of beginning teachers' needs. Not all induction
concerns of other professions transfer to the education profession. Not all
proposed solutions will work. Future analysis of programs in existence will
reveal what induction formats work and which need to be replaced with other
The above components are hardly a complete listing of possible induction
approaches, nor have all combinations of these formats been tried in existing
programs. In spite of twenty years of professional concern with the initiation
of new teachers into their working environments, much more work needs to be done
in developing good programs, and many schools have yet to implement any teacher
induction program beyond the pre-Labor Day welcoming speech.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
California State Department of Education. CALIFORNIA MENTOR TEACHER PROGRAM.
PROGRAM ADVISORY. Sacramento, CA: California State Department of Education,
1983. ED 241 473.
CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS IN TEACHER INDUCTION PROGRAMS. ERIC DIGEST. Washington,
DC: ERIC Clearinghouse on Teacher Education, 1986.
Defino, M. E. and J. V. Hoffman. A STATUS REPORT AND CONTENT ANALYSIS OF
STATE MANDATED TEACHER INDUCTION PROGRAMS. REPORT #9057. 1984. ED 251 438.
Foster, H. L. PREVENTING STRESS AND BURNOUT--A PROJECT THAT WORKED: THE NEW
TEACHER AND TEACHER AIDE PROJECT. Institute on Classroom Management and School
Discipline, 1982. ED 223 544.
Galvez-Hjornevik, C. TEACHER MENTORS: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE. Austin,
Texas: Research and Development Center for Teacher Education, 1985. SP 026-844
(NB. Most of this material appears in JOURNAL OF TEACHER EDUCATION 37(1)
Griffin, G. A. and H. Hukill, eds. "First Years of Teaching: What are the
Pertinent Issues?" Report #9051. Austin, TX: Conference Proceedings, Research
and Development Center for Teacher Education, 1983. ED 240 109.
Griffin, G. A. "Teacher Induction: Research Issues." JOURNAL OF TEACHER
EDUCATION 36(1) 1985:42-46.
Hall, G. E. "Induction: The Missing Link." JOURNAL OF TEACHER EDUCATION 33(3)
Schlechty, P., and others. "The Charlotte-Mechlenburg Teacher Career
Development Program." EDUCATION LEADERSHIP 42(4) (Dec.l984- Jan. 1985):4-8.
Schlechty, P. "A Framework for Evaluating Introduction into Teaching."
JOURNAL OF TEACHER EDUCATION (36)1 (Jan.-Feb. l985): 37-41.
TEACHER MENTORING. ERIC DIGEST. Washington, DC: ERIC Clearinghouse on Teacher
Zimpher, N. L. THE FRANKLIN COUNTY/OSU INDUCTION PROJECT. Columbus, Ohio:
Department of Educational Policy and Leadership, The Ohio State University,