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!
Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland
Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy