Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


The School of Education

Document Type



The issue of high teacher turnover and low teacher retention rates are the driving force of this research. Teacher retention begins with understanding how induction practices are carried out both formally and informally and what support novice teachers need. The majority of research around teacher induction and turnover works with large data sets to produce pertinent percentages and figures (Ingersoll, 2012; Glazerman et al., 2010; Redding & Henry, 2018; Ronfeldt & McQueen, 2017). To supplement the existing research around new teacher induction, this case study was conducted to 1) combine the research-based induction practices with the theoretical underpinnings of these processes, and 2) provide a specific case to explain the data presented in these larger research projects. Enlighten School, the site of this case study, provides an exemplary induction process and support system.

Data were collected through interviews, observations, and documentation. Lawson’s (1983) occupational socialization theory provides a holistic lens to examine the journey of teachers. Data analysis produced a narrative of the teaching experience at Enlighten School, which begins with the unspoken matters of the first year of teaching. These matters imply that new teachers enter the profession as lacking and must individually learn to stay afloat. Veteran teachers and mentors, therefore, are responsible for providing the support and guidance for the novice teachers who lack experience and know-how. As described by the literature and prevalent at Enlighten School, the necessary factors for new teacher induction include fostering faculty relationships, arranging for collaboration, and planning formalized professional development sessions. The supports provided to new teachers reinforces the school’s culture, values, and social goods and can be categorized as both a dialectical approach to socialization and as a practice of assimilation. These findings call for a new narrative of why and how new teacher supports are designed and implemented. Seeing new teachers as knowledgeable, yet willing to learn, opens space for a dialectical exchange between coworkers. Induction programs must not simply aim to increase retention rates, they must also provide for the professional and emotional needs of novice teachers to become great educators.



Committee Chair

Tobin, Kerri