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Novice teachers: the challenges, supports, and effective strategies
Olujumu, Kayode Segun
Brandon University, Faculty of Education
xi, 136 pages
Includes bibliographical references (pages 110-121).
"In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education."
This study used survey research to investigate the challenges novice teachers experience, the support they receive, and the leadership strategies that are implemented to support them. The research was conducted in Manitoba, Canada. Quantitative methods and convenience sampling were used to explore the research questions that guided this study: What challenges do beginning teachers perceive they encounter in their first years of teaching practice? What supports do new teachers report they receive? What strategies do novice teachers perceive are the most effective in supporting them? What challenges do school principals perceive novice teachers face? What strategies do principals use to support novice teachers? A total of 41 novice teachers and 31 school principals in Manitoba, participated in this study. The majority of the novice teacher participants were female and the majority of principal respondents were male – statistics which reflect the gender demographics of teachers and principals in Canada. The areas that novice teacher participants found most challenging were differentiating instruction, planning and preparation, accessing teaching resources, working with students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs), and assessing student learning. With regard to gender, male novice teachers found differentiating instruction and organizing the classroom significantly more challenging than did their female colleagues. Beginning teachers in rural/small town areas perceived isolation and teaching multi-age classrooms to be a greater challenge than their colleagues who taught in urban/suburban schools. With regard to teaching experience, teachers with less than two years in the classroom perceived isolation to be a significantly greater challenge than colleagues with 2-3 years teaching experience. When considering school size, teachers in smaller schools with less than 200 students considered isolation to be a greater challenge than their colleagues in larger schools; however, teachers in larger schools found planning and preparation and developing collegial relations a greater challenge than those in small schools. With regard to the areas in which novice teachers reported they received most support, the areas most supported corresponded with the areas they felt to be the greatest challenges, with the exception of differentiated instruction, which was their greatest challenge, yet was not well supported. Overall, female novice teachers perceived higher levels of support than their male colleagues. Teachers in rural/small town areas felt more supported than colleagues in urban/suburban locations. Novice teachers valued support programs such as mentoring, induction, and professional development but indicated that not all these programs were available to them. Principals identified similar challenges for novice teachers as did the teacher respondents, with the exception of planning and preparation, an area that challenged beginning teachers but was perceived as less of a challenge by their principals. Principals reported greater availability of mentoring programs than did novice teachers. The recommendations for the study included specific areas for professional development and greater provision of research-based mentoring and induction programs.
First year teachers--Job stress--ManitobaFirst year teachers--Job satisfaction--ManitobaFirst year teachers--Vocational education--Manitoba
Brandon UniversityFaculty of Education