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University-School Collaboration on Mentor Training: An Evaluation of Mentor Training Programs Across Indiana
Unformatted Document Text:  PROPOSAL Section I: ContentA. Statement of the issue: Beginning teachers are leaving the education profession at an unprecedented rate (Boreen & Niday, 2000). The educational community of Indiana has responded to the crisis of high teacher attrition rates by forming alliances to develop and evaluate mentor programs which support and further train first year teachers. Alliances between universities and university-school collaborations have resulted in mentoring programs that provide new teachers with technical and emotional support to overcome the frustration and discouragement that frequently accompany the initial year of teaching (Saunders & Freemyer, 2005; Schultz, 2002). Although the promise of mentoring has led to the adoption of mentoring programs statewide, there has yet been little critique of their effectiveness on the retention of new teachers (Cuddapah, 2002). The purpose of this study was to evaluate mentoring programs across the State of Indiana by asking the question, “What components of a mentoring program increase the likelihood of new teachers remaining in education?”B. Literature Review: The “revolving door” (U.S. Department of Education, 2000) of the teaching profession must be stopped. There are just “too many teachers leaving teaching” (Ingersoll, 1997, p. 2). The implementation and evaluations of effective mentoring programs are key strategies for jamming the revolving door. Mentor training programs must effectively recruit, train and support mentors for mentoring relationships to be productive. Sweeny (2001) has stated, “Teaching students does not sufficiently prepare one to be a mentor” (p. 5). Gold (1996) stressed that the careful design of a mentor training program was critical to the development of mentors and new teachers alike. Mentor teachers must be trained to develop a healthy psychological climate with their new teachers (Daloz, 1999) and be trained to encourage self-confidence and self-determination in their new teachers (Pelletier, Séguin-Lévesque & Legault, 2002; Gordon, 2001). As Vonk (1995) observed, mentoring is more than just a transfer of existing “craft” knowledge and skills to the novice. The process of mentoring includes helping a new teacher to develop a personal, flexible repertory of teaching and classroom management skills (Everston, Emmer & Worsham, 2003), a set of clear and appropriate communication skills (Christenson & Sheridan, 2001; Cooper & Simonds, 2003; Richmond, 2002; Strom & Strom, 2003; Thompson, 2002), a proper insight into the pupils’ learning process (Brewster & Fager, 2000; Covington & Dray, 2001; Stipek, 2002), and an honest perspective of oneself as a teacher (Gordon, 2001; Pelletier, Séguin-Lévesque & Legault, 2002; Yoons, 2002). Mentoring programs must be designed and delivered in ways that support these teacher competencies.Darling-Hammond has stated that “beginning teachers who have access to intensive mentoring by expert colleagues are much less likely to leave teaching in the early years (2000, p. 22). Research has demonstrated that a comprehensive mentoring program can dramatically lower new teacher attrition rates (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2004; Saunders & Freemyer, 2005). C. Contribution: Strand II – Picturing Expanded Alliances

Authors: Freemyer, Jim., Saunders, Nancy., Swails, Patricia., Divins, Barbara., Guerriero, Sam. and Saunders, George.
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PROPOSAL
Section I: Content
A.
Statement of the issue:
Beginning teachers are leaving the education profession at an unprecedented rate (Boreen
& Niday, 2000). The educational community of Indiana has responded to the crisis of
high teacher attrition rates by forming alliances to develop and evaluate mentor programs
which support and further train first year teachers. Alliances between universities and
university-school collaborations have resulted in mentoring programs that provide new
teachers with technical and emotional support to overcome the frustration and
discouragement that frequently accompany the initial year of teaching (Saunders &
Freemyer, 2005; Schultz, 2002).
Although the promise of mentoring has led to the adoption of mentoring programs
statewide, there has yet been little critique of their effectiveness on the retention of new
teachers (Cuddapah, 2002). The purpose of this study was to evaluate mentoring
programs across the State of Indiana by asking the question, “What components of a
mentoring program increase the likelihood of new teachers remaining in education?”
B.
Literature Review:
The “revolving door” (U.S. Department of Education, 2000) of the teaching profession
must be stopped. There are just “too many teachers leaving teaching” (Ingersoll, 1997, p.
2). The implementation and evaluations of effective mentoring programs are key
strategies for jamming the revolving door.
Mentor training programs must effectively recruit, train and support mentors for
mentoring relationships to be productive. Sweeny (2001) has stated, “Teaching students
does not sufficiently prepare one to be a mentor” (p. 5). Gold (1996) stressed that the
careful design of a mentor training program was critical to the development of mentors
and new teachers alike. Mentor teachers must be trained to develop a healthy
psychological climate with their new teachers (Daloz, 1999) and be trained to encourage
self-confidence and self-determination in their new teachers (Pelletier, Séguin-Lévesque
& Legault, 2002; Gordon, 2001).
As Vonk (1995) observed, mentoring is more than just a transfer of existing “craft”
knowledge and skills to the novice. The process of mentoring includes helping a new
teacher to develop a personal, flexible repertory of teaching and classroom management
skills (Everston, Emmer & Worsham, 2003), a set of clear and appropriate
communication skills (Christenson & Sheridan, 2001; Cooper & Simonds, 2003;
Richmond, 2002; Strom & Strom, 2003; Thompson, 2002), a proper insight into the
pupils’ learning process (Brewster & Fager, 2000; Covington & Dray, 2001; Stipek,
2002), and an honest perspective of oneself as a teacher (Gordon, 2001; Pelletier, Séguin-
Lévesque & Legault, 2002; Yoons, 2002). Mentoring programs must be designed and
delivered in ways that support these teacher competencies.
Darling-Hammond has stated that “beginning teachers who have access to intensive
mentoring by expert colleagues are much less likely to leave teaching in the early years
(2000, p. 22). Research has demonstrated that a comprehensive mentoring program can
dramatically lower new teacher attrition rates (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2004;
Saunders & Freemyer, 2005).
C.
Contribution: Strand II – Picturing Expanded Alliances


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