Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership, Research and Counseling

First Advisor

Dianne L. Taylor


The current study examined the socialization experiences of beginning teachers within the context of differentially effective middle schools. A mixed method design, using quantitative and qualitative approaches, was employed. The sample consisted of ten middle schools in Louisiana, five matched pairs, using an intensity strategy. The study was conducted in six phases of data collection. Phase One designed and carried out a pilot study. Interview data from school principals and mentors was collected in Phase Two, while Phase Three involved the collection of survey data from beginning teachers to measure perceptions of assistance, monitoring, team-building, and intention to remain in education. Phase Four involved collection of self-report data, including absences, referrals, certification status, and university preparation program. Phase Five included data collection from interviews and classroom observations of beginning teachers to provide data regarding effective teaching. Phase Six triangulated data collected from Phases 2, 3, 4, and 5 to explore the overall processes in the school which contribute to the socialization experiences of beginning teachers. All data were used to compile narrative case studies. The study detailed three matched pair cases. Quantitative data found no difference in the perception of assistance, monitoring, and team building in differentially effective schools. Qualitative data found differences in the extent and quality of these areas as perceived by beginning teachers. Assistance, monitoring, and team building, when combined with social support, predicted teacher intent to stay. Observations of new teachers revealed marked differences in more effective and less effective schools in the components of effective teaching. Findings from the study indicated that processes in the school play a larger role in the quality of the beginning experience than do the individual elements of assistance, monitoring and team building. The existence of these variables was insufficient for positive socialization. Socialization experiences were optimized from a school culture geared to learning and student achievement as well as from the guidance of an instructional leader. The study found that the state assistance/assessment program is ineffective as a certification process and viewed negatively by schools. Teacher preparation programs were found to inadequately prepare students for the realities of teaching.