A STUDY OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MENTOR ROLES IN A RURAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
Joseph, Ocheze Wosu
Parham, Carol S
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Title of Dissertation: A STUDY OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF MENTOR ROLES IN A RURAL SCHOOL DISTRICT Ocheze Wosu Joseph, Doctor of Education, 2009 Dissertation directed by: Dr. Carol S. Parham, Chair The most important component of an effective induction program is a skilled and well trained mentor teacher. In an effort to bring support to novice teachers, school districts across the United States are implementing mentoring programs. This study was designed to investigate the roles mentor teachers play in providing support and developing novice teachers in a rural school district. Data for this study were collected by way of questionnaire responses, interviews and focus groups with mentor teachers, stakeholders associated with the mentor program, and teachers who participated in the district's mentoring program during 2005-2006, 2006-2007, and 2007-2008 school years. Quantitative and qualitative methods were utilized in this study. Two levels of Kirkpatrick's (1998) Learning and Training Evaluation Theory were used as a conceptual framework. Findings of the study indicated that new teachers generally perceived the roles of their mentor resource teacher to be effective. There was no statistically significant difference between the mentor role of coach, consultant and collaborator. However, the qualitative data suggests that teachers would have liked more modeling in the classroom by their mentor teacher and secondary teachers noted that it would be more useful to have a mentor with the same content area background. These data provided insight regarding mentor roles that helped novices develop as reflective practitioners. This study has policy and practice implications for districts concerned with developing and/or enhancing their mentor program. It provides a model for defining roles of a mentor teacher as well as identifying those roles that are effective.