Monday, October 14, 2013

The Effects of E-Mentoring on Beginning Teacher Competencies and Perceptions

There is a critical need to mentor novice special education teachers to meet the current and projected teacher shortages. However, due to the various skill-levels of beginning special education teachers in schools and the small number of current special educators in each school who could serve as mentors, there is difficulty finding induction-level mentors that possess similar or the same teaching credentials or teaching assignments as mentees in the same schools or geographical regions. Electronic mentoring (e-mentoring) using technology initiates solutions as e-mentoring can provide synchronous and asynchronous mentoring opportunities which increase collaboration time and reduce feelings of isolation and increases efficacy among new teachers.

This article presents the findings from research using a mixed methods design investigating novice special education teacher knowledge of professional competencies and the participant’s perceptions of effectiveness of induction-level mentoring through the pilot use of an electronic mentoring program.

Results of the current study indicate unique contributions to teachers’ knowledge of
standards and law were made through participation in eMSS mentoring. There were statistically
significant differences in levels of basic and advanced teacher preparedness as well as
knowledge of standards and law after participation in e-mentoring. Knowledge of CEC and
state level standards were particularly affected. Teachers reported their knowledge in these areas
increased significantly after eMSS participation. However, e-mentoring had no effects on
teachers’ perceived basic (e.g. IEPs) or advanced (e.g. uncovering student thinking) teacher

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