Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Stephen Laws

Second Advisor

Doug Eury

Abstract

This dissertation was designed to examine the impact of the South Carolina Initial Mentor Training on the self-efficacy of mentor teachers. The study discussed the current training program for mentors in South Carolina and the expected outcomes the training is supposed to produce. The South Carolina Initial Mentor Training was studied in a cohort of nine school districts in the midlands and upstate of South Carolina in partnership with Winthrop University. The expected outcomes of the program were creating professional growth environments for new teachers grounded in the norms of continuous inquiry, ongoing assessment, and problem-solving; recognizing and practicing the attitudes, behaviors, and skills of effective mentors; identifying beginning teacher needs and modifying support in response to those needs; and using various tools that support an integrated system of formative assessment and support.

This study used a mixed-methods design which included surveys and interviews with mentor teachers to identify themes that were linked to their efficacy in being able to work with beginning teachers after participating in the South Carolina Initial Mentor Training program. The researcher analyzed the surveys for emerging themes and developed follow-up interview questions for random interviews of trained mentors. The four themes that emerged were the need for mentor training, the most helpful tools to build efficacy, the least helpful tools to build efficacy, and suggestions for mentor program improvement.

Based on the results of this study, mentor teachers who have completed the South Carolina Initial Mentor Training Program have a much stronger feeling of efficacy in their ability to support beginning teachers.