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Teacher Educators and Induction to Teaching: Challenges to New Alliances Based on the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program
Unformatted Document Text:  Teacher Educators and Induction to Teaching: Challenges to New Alliances based on the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program Section I: A. The Issue… Two dynamics are currently at play in the teacher preparation arena that will propel teacher educators to become more involved over the coming years with the work of their graduates in school settings. The first is the growing recognition of the need for high quality induction experiences for all new teachers to reduce attrition and provide support for effective instructional practices. The second is the movement toward increased accountability in teacher education. As schools, colleges, and departments of education strive to demonstrate the contributions they can make to effective teaching in their region or state, they will likely seek opportunities to be involved in teacher support programs beyond the confines of the campus. Based on nearly two decades of teacher educator involvement in the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program (KTIP), however, we believe considerable caution should be exercised before institutions establish agreements with schools, districts, or states to provide induction support. Kentucky’s General Assembly created KTIP in the mid 1980s to supply a three member committee to each new teacher—a “resource teacher,” the principal, and a teacher educator from an area institution—to guide and evaluate his or her adjustment to the classroom. Over the years of KTIP implementation, however, the teacher educator role has been particularly problematic. In recent years, about one half of the “teacher educators” on KTIP committees have not been IHE faculty members but rather retired K-12 educators hired by IHEs for this purpose, and about two thirds of all interns have these individuals on their committees. Moreover, it is unclear that most regular faculty members who serve on KTIP committees actually provide feedback to their programs based on their experiences. This subverts the original intentions of those who established this program for new teacher support in Kentucky. Our paper will discuss the teacher educator role in KTIP and what it suggests about efforts to involve higher education faculty in front-line support for teachers. In addition to providing relevant historical background on the program, we will provide an array of data on teacher educators and KTIP drawn from several sources, including a set of approximately 30 interviews we conducted in 2003, interview and survey results conducted by another team through a federal grant, and other studies and evaluation reports conducted over the years. We will conclude with suggestions for more promising models of teacher educator involvement in new teacher induction. B. Literature Background… Since the mid-1980s, mentoring has emerged as the favored induction strategy based on the conviction of experts that assigning well-trained veteran teachers as mentors to work directly with new teachers for at least a year is the most effective way of introducing novices to their teaching duties (Feiman-Nemser, et al 1993, Darling-Hammond & Sclan, 1996). Induction programs are frequently cited as contributing to higher teacher retention. A 2002 study of teacher supply and demand issues conducted by the University of Kentucky’s Edward Kifer for Kentucky’s Education Professional Standards Board (EPSB) determined that Kentucky’s attrition rate for teachers between 1988 and 1995 was about 20 percent, far better than the national rate of around 33 percent (Hibpshman, 2002)—this is attributable at least in part, we believe, to KTIP.

Authors: Clements, Steve. and Jones, Denise.
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Teacher Educators and Induction to Teaching:
Challenges to New Alliances based on the Kentucky Teacher Internship Program
Section I:
A. The Issue…
Two dynamics are currently at play in the teacher preparation arena that will
propel teacher educators to become more involved over the coming years with the work
of their graduates in school settings. The first is the growing recognition of the need for
high quality induction experiences for all new teachers to reduce attrition and provide
support for effective instructional practices. The second is the movement toward
increased accountability in teacher education. As schools, colleges, and departments of
education strive to demonstrate the contributions they can make to effective teaching in
their region or state, they will likely seek opportunities to be involved in teacher support
programs beyond the confines of the campus.
Based on nearly two decades of teacher educator involvement in the Kentucky
Teacher Internship Program (KTIP), however, we believe considerable caution should be
exercised before institutions establish agreements with schools, districts, or states to
provide induction support. Kentucky’s General Assembly created KTIP in the mid 1980s
to supply a three member committee to each new teacher—a “resource teacher,” the
principal, and a teacher educator from an area institution—to guide and evaluate his or
her adjustment to the classroom. Over the years of KTIP implementation, however, the
teacher educator role has been particularly problematic. In recent years, about one half of
the “teacher educators” on KTIP committees have not been IHE faculty members but
rather retired K-12 educators hired by IHEs for this purpose, and about two thirds of all
interns have these individuals on their committees. Moreover, it is unclear that most
regular faculty members who serve on KTIP committees actually provide feedback to
their programs based on their experiences. This subverts the original intentions of those
who established this program for new teacher support in Kentucky.
Our paper will discuss the teacher educator role in KTIP and what it suggests
about efforts to involve higher education faculty in front-line support for teachers. In
addition to providing relevant historical background on the program, we will provide an
array of data on teacher educators and KTIP drawn from several sources, including a set
of approximately 30 interviews we conducted in 2003, interview and survey results
conducted by another team through a federal grant, and other studies and evaluation
reports conducted over the years. We will conclude with suggestions for more
promising models of teacher educator involvement in new teacher induction.
B. Literature Background…
Since the mid-1980s, mentoring has emerged as the favored induction strategy
based on the conviction of experts that assigning well-trained veteran teachers as mentors
to work directly with new teachers for at least a year is the most effective way of
introducing novices to their teaching duties (Feiman-Nemser, et al 1993, Darling-
Hammond & Sclan, 1996). Induction programs are frequently cited as contributing to
higher teacher retention. A 2002 study of teacher supply and demand issues conducted
by the University of Kentucky’s Edward Kifer for Kentucky’s Education Professional
Standards Board (EPSB) determined that Kentucky’s attrition rate for teachers between
1988 and 1995 was about 20 percent, far better than the national rate of around 33
percent (Hibpshman, 2002)—this is attributable at least in part, we believe, to KTIP.


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