A University-Led Beginning Teacher Mathematics Community
Kobett, Mary Elizabeth
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The beginning teacher induction experience has been studied extensively, yet is still not fully understood. Teacher induction programs within and between schools vary widely as the number and types of induction services offered to beginning teachers contrast in quality and depth. This study examined the experiences of beginning teachers in a blended learning community provided by the beginning teachers former university. The beginning teacher mathematics community was intended to be a supportive community utilizing the Appreciative Inquiry Approach (AI) for teachers teaching standards-based mathematics; to engage beginning teachers in identifying and using positive experiences in the classroom to inform effective teaching practices; and to encourage and sustain new teachers’ teaching efficacy during the beginning years of teaching. A mixed methods study was conducted to explore the experiences of a university-led learning community facilitated through face-to-face sessions and an online community. The 19 participants were beginning teachers from seven school districts in the mid Atlantic region. The Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale, Mathematics Pedagogical Beliefs Scale, interview transcripts, face-to-face session transcripts, and online community posts were used to understand participants’ teacher efficacy and mathematics pedagogical beliefs. Although statistically significant differences were not found, participants maintained teacher self-efficacy and standards-based beliefs through the intervention. Qualitative data suggest that a university-led learning community supports and sustains beginning teacher efficacy and standards-based mathematics pedagogical beliefs. This study supports CAEP (2013) accreditation standards that require evidence of Program Completer satisfaction.