Source: Teacher Development, Vol. 16, No. 3, August 2012, 399–414
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This article examined the properties of a new induction measure (Langdon Induction and Mentoring Survey [LIMS]) using quantitative (e.g. factor analyses) and qualitative approaches (i.e. semi-structured interviews).
The article addresses to the following research questions:
(1) What are the psychometric properties of the LIMS?
(2) Do the responses of key constituents within the school (i.e. school leaders, mentor teachers, classroom teachers, and beginning teachers) differ with regard to induction and mentoring programmes and the overall school culture?
The sample included 273 participants: 29 beginning teachers, 28 school-appointed mentor teachers, 181 classroom teachers, and 35 school leaders – principals, deputy principals or assistant principals from public schools in New Zealand.
These participants were primarily female (80%), of diverse ethnic backgrounds (the largest of these ethnicities being European, 63%), with an average age of 40.60, and average years of teaching of 13.68.
The LIMS is a 58-item measure constructed to survey 12 areas deemed critical for effective induction and mentoring based on an extensive analysis of the literature.
All questions are framed within the context of ‘in our school’ and are responded to on a 100 mm line ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree.
Participants indicate their level of agreement or disagreement by placing a slash mark at the appropriate point along the continuum.
The authors argue that the LIMS serves to address the significant gap between the need and the availability of viable measures of induction and mentoring programmes for beginning teachers.
The LIMS is based on a theoretically derived model of beginning teacher induction and mentoring programmes.
It measures constituents’ perceptions of a programme’s quality on 12 principles for sound beginning teacher induction and mentoring derived from the literature.
The LIMS was found to be psychometrically sound for this sample.
In addition, this analysis indicated that significant differences were found in perceptions of programme quality between the school leaders and teaching staff, with school leaders demonstrating the highest positive responses and the classroom teachers the lowest positive responses.
It is also envisaged that information from LIMS could contribute to the enhancement of programmes that may improve the quality of beginning teacher learning in three key areas.
First, at a national or state strategic level, results may give rise to recommendations for practice or decisions regarding resourcing and professional development for leaders, mentors and beginning teachers.
Moreover, when used as a self-evaluative tool at the school level, the instruction could facilitate discussion and goal setting to improve induction and mentoring.
Of course, these goals rest on the further development of this theoretically robust measure of comprehensive induction and mentoring programmes.