Dissertation

Changing the lens: mentors and their effect on novice teacher attitudes towards student achievement

The purpose of this study is to examine the role mentors play in the development of attitudes and perspectives of novice teachers. Specifically, this study explored how mentors assist new teachers in re-framing their thinking about their students and their teaching practice. The study included accounts of how mentor teachers, through reflective conversations, move novice teachers towards an affirming perspective about their students. Additionally, this study examined how those mentors assisted novice teachers in re-examining their teaching strategies. This study's central research questions are: How do full-release mentors shape novice teachers' perceptions of their students' academic abilities? What kind of frames are used by mentors to help novice teachers view their students? The primary data source was the full-release mentors participating in the district's induction program. Data was obtained through semi-structured interviews. The results indicate that mentors use three frames reshaping novice teachers' perceptions: developing student relationships, changing the locus of control, and using data to re-interpret situations. This study will contribute professional knowledge to the field of mentoring and may be used in mentor trainings to increase mentor effectiveness and improve student achievement.

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