Policy Impact on Teacher Induction: Connecticut's Story

Policy Impact on Teacher Induction: Connecticut's Story

Amanda R. Bozack (University of New Haven, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0204-3.ch028
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During the 1980s Connecticut was on the leading edge of national educational reform, developing performance standards for teachers and students, creating a tiered licensure structure, and implementing a state-wide comprehensive, multi-year teacher induction program tied to teacher certification. Since then, many states and districts have begun to implement induction programs as a way to enhance teacher retention and performance and improve student achievement. However, the literature base on successful implementation is limited, as is the research on the effectiveness of specific induction practices as related to teacher development and student achievement. This chapter focuses on informing policy makers and educational administrators about the broad landscape of induction in the United States and explores how Connecticut's rich history with induction can serve other states considering adoption of a comprehensive induction policy. Research concerns are also explored.
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Background Of Induction In The United States

Induction is a broad term used to describe various support structures that assist beginning teachers as they integrate into the professional culture of teaching. It generally includes, but is not limited to, orientation seminars, workshops, mentoring or professional development activities, and observation and feedback from expert teachers or administrators (Smith, Desimone, Porter, McGraner, & Haynes, 2013). Induction can be further categorized based on the characteristics it encompasses. Informal induction is characterized by a limited, usually unfunded, set of actions and is carried out with available local resources—it is the school tour, district policy overview, introductions, and “holler if you need me” approach to onboarding new teachers. In contrast, comprehensive induction is characterized by its structure, intensity, and sequential nature and is carried out with training for mentors, beginning teacher orientation sessions, professional development, classroom observations, and feedback to the beginning teachers (Glazerman, Isenberg, Dolfin, Bleeker, Johnson, Grider, & Jacobus, 2010). Programs that are focused on improved teaching practices and student learning outcomes are comprehensive in nature and usually require policy and funding support at the state level.

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