Does one size fit all? The induction experience of beginning science teachers from different teacher-preparation programs

Authors

  • Gillian H. Roehrig,

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Minnesota, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, 125 Peik Hall, 159 Pilsbury Drive, SE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455
    • University of Minnesota, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, 125 Peik Hall, 159 Pilsbury Drive, SE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455
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  • Julie A. Luft

    1. Arizona State University, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, P.O. Box 870911, Tempe, Arizona 85287-0911
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Abstract

The number of induction programs available to teachers is increasing rapidly, and by necessity these programs are designed to meet the needs of all teachers regardless of their preparation and academic background. This study examines the impact of a science-focused induction program on secondary science teachers from different preparation programs. The 16 teachers were first-year secondary science teachers who graduated the previous year from one of four different teacher-preparation programs. All teachers were monitored during their first year of teaching, as they participated in the induction program, to understand their teaching beliefs, instructional practices, and experiences in the classroom. The analysis of data revealed that the preservice training of a science teacher influenced the type of support the teacher derived from the science-focused induction program. Teachers from a preservice program with an extended student-teaching experience and two science methods courses held beliefs aligned with student-centered practices and implemented more reform-based lessons than did other teachers during the year. This study reinforces the importance of induction programs for teachers and suggests that there is a need for specialized support programs for beginning science teachers. The study also provides specific suggestions for improving the preparation of secondary science teachers. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 43: 963–985, 2006

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