New teacher induction programmes and practices in selected high schools of Lusaka Province
Malasha, Eunice Chitenta
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The purpose of this study was to find out if induction programmes existed in the public high schools and to what extent and depth they were done. The study further intended to ascertain the characteristics of current induction practices in schools, the responsibility of the school in teacher induction, and the awareness of stakeholders on the issues surrounding new teacher's induction.Ten schools from Lusaka Province were randomly selected for investigation in 2008-2009.The sample of the study comprised a total of 170 respondents. The data collection instruments used in the study comprised two questionnaires for new and long serving teachers, and two interview schedules for head teachers, semi-structured interviews for Heads of Department and Ministry of Education officials. Observation also served as a valuable informal source of data as the researcher interacted with the respondents.The data collected yielded both qualitative and quantitative information. Qualitative data were broken down, regrouped and coded according to emerging themes. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze the quantitative data. The data are presented in tables, charts and percentages.The results of the study revealed that there had been continuing debate on the different ways of inducting new teachers. The study further revealed that teacher induction existed in schools and the Zambian education system used induction programmes to socialize teachers, but these were ineffective. The study identified different groups of factors that contributed to the ineffectiveness of teacher induction programmes. One group of factors was related to the inefficiencies resulting from the nature and components of the programmes. Here, it was noted that there was no emphasis on standard practices for schools on teacher induction programmes and hence, there were hardly any guidelines on the most effective ways to induct teachers. This resulted in the nature of the induction practices lacking comprehensiveness, continuity, consistency, support and formalization. The other group of factors was related to the stakeholders' insufficient awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding the topic. This was especially observed when respondents viewed the induction process relative to orientation to school facilities and financial incentives.The study recommended that there should be policies governing the overall procedures for inducting new teachers. These policies should address issues such as the overall standards of the induction programmes for schools, funding for the programmes, and guidelines for each of the districts to follow when adapting the standards to their district educational needs. A culture of support for induction programmes should be developed in schools and among stakeholders by implementing systematic sensitization on the effective methods and the critical role of teacher induction.
- Education