Perspectives on Induction of Beginning Special Educators: Research Summary, Key Program Features, and the State of State-Level Policies

Feb. 20, 2009

Source: Teacher Education and Special Education, Volume 32 Number I, (February 2009). p. 17-32.

The call to provide beginning special educators with induction support is widespread, due in part to teacher turnover and the need to develop a highly qualified teaching force. The scholarly foundation for induction and the current state of induction support is unclear. The purpose of this article is to offer an analysis of factors related to providing support and guidance to beginning special educators and to recommend directions for research, practice, and policy.

Research Questions

The authors address three questions: What general findings can we discern from a review of the empirical research conducted on the induction provided to beginning special education teachers? What are the features of current programs for beginning special education teachers? What state-level policies exist that influence the design and implementation of these programs?

The authors summarize the empirical studies pertaining to induction for special educators. They also describe key features of effective programs, summarize state-level policy initiatives and offer recommendations. Findings include the importance of learning more about mentoring and connecting induction to developing good practices that support student learning. The findings also strengthening the research agenda by further developing the list of research questions and using additional methods for data collection and analysis.

Updated: May. 11, 2009