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Abstract

Induction programs are essential in addressing the unique pedagogical and content needs of secondary science teachers. Yet most secondary science teachers have little access to general induction programs, and even less opportunity to participate in specialized science induction programs. This study examines the impact of three different induction programs on secondary science teachers. The teachers were matched by grade level among three groups; one group participated in a science-focused support program, another participated in a general support program, and a third had no formal support. All teachers were monitored during the spring semester to understand their teaching beliefs, instructional practices, and experiences in the classroom. The analysis of data revealed that the secondary science teachers in the science-focused support program implemented more student-centered inquiry lessons, held beliefs aligned with student-centered practices, and felt fewer constraints in their teaching than did the other two groups of teachers. This study reinforces the importance of induction programs for teachers, suggests there is a need for specialized support programs for beginning science teachers, and recommends that universities and school districts work together to develop such programs. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 40: 77–97, 2003