The research reviewed for this report provides limited evidence that induction and mentoring can increase teacher retention. The diversity among the induction and mentoring programs discussed in the literature, however, and the difficulty of distinguishing between the specific effects of induction and mentoring and those that might be attributed to other factors means the literature is inconclusive on the question of what precisely makes such programs successful. Thus, those who are considering implementing such programs will have to rely on the consensus of expert opinion.
Although the literature reviewed for this report does not provide enthusiastic research-based support for this strategy, it does indicate that induction and mentoring may indeed be worthwhile. It is important to recognize, however, that the impact of induction and mentoring programs on beginning teachers is contextual and is likely to be a function of the nature of their preparation program and of the school and district in which they are working. In other words, induction and mentoring may be of much greater benefit, and thus be much more cost-effective, for some populations of beginning teachers than for others. Clearly, a good deal of additional research is needed to provide more definitive guidance for educators and policymakers. In the meantime, they must rely on the consensus of experts.
[ back to top ]