Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

In battle against teacher turnover, MSU mentoring program proves effective

26.02.2009
Beginning teachers in urban school districts quit at an alarming rate – often from lack of support – and Michigan State University education experts are targeting the problem with an innovative mentoring program.

The research-based initiative already has proven successful in the Lansing School District, based on a new study, and now is being replicated at a much larger district in Atlanta. It could ultimately serve as a national model.

A major component involves freeing up veteran teachers to advise their beginning peers throughout the school year. It’s a huge commitment – the Fulton County School System has released seven teachers from the classroom to act as full-time mentors – but holds promise for districts struggling to raise teacher quality and keep new teachers from becoming frustrated and leaving for another system.

Previous research has shown that nearly 50 percent of new teachers leave within five years and student achievement often suffers as a result.

“We call it the revolving door,” said Randi Stanulis, MSU associate professor of education and director of the program.

A study by Stanulis and Robert Floden, University Distinguished Professor and associate dean for research in MSU’s College of Education, found the mentoring program improved teacher effectiveness in the Lansing district when it was tested there during the 2005-06 school year. The findings are published in the March/April edition of the Journal of Teacher Education.

Stanulis said many school districts’ mentoring, or induction, programs are ineffective because the mentors are poorly chosen and not trained properly. This is typical in states such as Michigan that have an unfunded mandate requiring each beginning teacher to have a mentor. Often, the mentor simply becomes a “buddy” – available for advice and explaining school procedures but rarely observing or providing feedback about teaching and learning.

Through the MSU program, which is funded by the Carnegie Foundation’s Teachers for a New Era, veteran teachers are recruited and interviewed for mentor positions. They are matched with beginning teachers based on teaching responsibilities related to content and grade level. The mentors are continually trained throughout the school year.

Some mentors are then trained as coaches – meaning they can train mentors themselves and eventually make the program self-sufficient within the school system.

Stanulis said effective mentoring can create better novice teachers, improve student performance and potentially curb high teacher turnover.

“It’s not that first-year teachers are unqualified,” she said. “You wouldn’t take a student who just graduated from medical school and have him perform surgery the next day. But that’s what we do with teachers: They graduate in May and in August they’re expected to do the same thing as someone who’s been teaching 10 years.”

In Fulton County, as in many large districts, teacher turnover remains a problem. The school system loses about 1,000 teachers a year – or about 10 percent of its instructional work force, according to Tawana Miller, the system’s director of Title I and school improvement. Miller worked closely with the MSU team to implement the mentoring program in the Fulton County School System this year.

“Many new teachers are placed in an environment where it’s a do-or-die, sink-or-swim situation,” said Miller, who explains that she has “battle scars” from her first few years as a teacher in Fulton County. “It’s almost an impossible task.”

Randi Stanulis | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.msu.edu

Further reports about: County School System Education MSU mentoring program teacher turnover

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>