The Experiences of Cross-Content Matched Mentors and Mentees

Experiment
Woodbridge, Virginia
Education
Open Access
$145
Raised of $1,250 Goal
12%
Ended on 4/02/13
Campaign Ended
  • $145
    pledged
  • 12%
    funded
  • Finished
    on 4/02/13

About This Project

n average, nearly 50% of teachers leave the profession by their fifth year. Not only does this represent a significant cost to school districts, but it also reduces the quality of educational services available to children. Mentoring and induction programs have been shown to improve the effectiveness and retention of novice educators, yet there is little research regarding the attributes of effective mentors.

Perhaps the most widely cited attribute is that mentors should teach the same content as their mentees, yet striving for a content match may not be the most effective use of resources or personnel. Schools that have widely adopted the team approach to supporting novice educators, have increasing numbers of cross-content matched mentors and mentees.

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What is the context of this research?

This project will follow a multiple case study design described by Stake. Although the research is integrated with my work, I will treat the project as an external research project. Therefore approval will be sought from the appropriate offices. Once approved, in the fall, mentor assignments will be made at each school. I will review each mentor assignment and list all cross-content mentors and mentees. Participants will be drawn from this pool. Participants will provide informed consent and will be able to opt out of the research process.

What is the significance of this project?

According to the NCATF Teacher Turnover Cost Calculator, it costs the school division about $18,000 per new teacher. In difficult economic times, this draws significant resources away from instructional materials and resources. Furthermore, high rates of turnover can have a negative impact on student achievement. The most effective means of reducing teacher attrition is to provide high quality mentoring and induction services. Understanding how cross-content mentors work with mentees would be important in improving all mentor/mentee relationships, as well as refining mentor training programs.

What are the goals of the project?

Over the course of the year I will collect documentation from individual support meetings, conduct interviews, and review survey data. The interview data will be analyzed by a constant comparative method using Dedoose, a qualitative data analysis tool. Survey data and documentation from individual support meetings will also be coded and analyzed. Using multiple sources allows the data to be triangulated. From this process important themes will emerge that will elucidate important elements of the mentoring process.

Budget

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Although I am associated with a public school division, it is important to note that for all intents and purposes, I am an independent researcher. So, the funding for this project will support the tools needed for data analysis. Dedoose is an inexpensive but powerful tool that is a fraction of the cost of other commercially available software. Funding will also support the transcription of the interview data. As a full time employee, husband, father of four, recreational soccer coach, and independent researcher, I have little free time. Transcribing interviews is an arduous process. A 45 minute interview requires 2-3 hours of transcription time. The bulk of the funding would support transcribing the interviews, thus allowing me to focus on data analysis and interpretation.

Meet the Team

Michael T. Neall, Ph.D.
Michael T. Neall, Ph.D.

Team Bio

I have worked for the public school system since 1998 as a classroom teacher, special education teacher, Instructional Consultation Team Facilitator, and intervention specialist. In 2004, I earned National Board Certification in the area of Middle Childhood Generalist. As a professional development specialist, I have enhanced and improved the mentoring and induction program, including refining mentoring training, codeveloping a team-based approach to supporting novice educators, and developing online learning experiences. In addition to working full time, I also serve as the editor for Learning Forward Virginia's new online journal, Voices for Professional Learning. My vitae and list of presentations and publications can be found on my academia.com website.

Michael T. Neall, Ph.D.

I have worked for the public school system since 1998 as a classroom teacher, special education teacher, Instructional Consultation Team Facilitator, and intervention specialist. In 2004, I earned National Board Certification in the area of Middle Childhood Generalist. As a professional development specialist, I have enhanced and improved the mentoring and induction program, including refining mentoring training, codeveloping a team-based approach to supporting novice educators, and developing online learning experiences. In addition to working full time, I also serve as the editor for Learning Forward Virginia's new online journal, Voices for Professional Learning. My vitae and list of presentations and publications can be found on my academia.com website.

Lab Notes

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Additional Information

Relevant publications:

Moir, E. (2009). Accelerating teacher effectiveness: Lessons learned from two decades of new teacher induction. Phi Delta Kappan, 91(2), 14-21.

Ingersoll, R.M., & Strong, M. (2011). The impact of induction and mentoring programs for beginning teachers: A critical review of the research. Review of Educational Research. 81(2), 201-233.

Neall, M., & Curry, J. (2012). Enhancing mentor training using web 2.0. Vigrinia Educational Leadership Journal, 9(1), 61-84.

Neall, M., & Curry, J. (2012, February). Teaming for teacher support: The collaborative mentoring model. Workshop presented at the New Teacher Center 2012 Annual Symposium, San Jose, CA.

Strong, M. (2009). Effective teacher induction and mentoring: Assessing the evidence. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Stake, R. E. (2006). Multiple case study analysis. New York: The Guilford Press.

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Project Backers

  • 5Backers
  • 12%Funded
  • $145Total Donations
  • $29.00Average Donation
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