Factors contributing to the poor socialization of beginning teachers in selected schools of Lusaka District

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Chatora, Elizabeth
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The purpose of this study was to establish the factors that contribute to poor socialization of beginning teachers into their new work environments and to recommend ways of improving these socialization practices. The study further intended to establish the characteristics of current socialization practices in schools, the role of the school in teacher socialization, and the awareness of stakeholders on the issues surrounding beginning teachers' socialization. Nine schools from Lusaka District were randomly selected for investigation in 2006/2007. The sample of the study comprised of a total of fifty three respondents. The data collection instruments used in the study comprised of two questionnaires for beginning and \ong serving teachers, and two \nXerv\eNN sdie&vx\es ioi\vea& \ead\m, teacher training college principals 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 analyse 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 socializing beginning teachers. The study further revealed that teacher socialization existed in schools and the Zambian education system used induction programmes to socialize teachers. The study identified two different groups of factors that contributed to the poor socialization of beginning teachers in schools. One group of factors were 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 socialization programmes and hence, there were hardly any guidelines on the most effective ways to socialize teachers. This resulted in the nature of the socialization practices lacking comprehensiveness, continuity, consistency, support, and formalization. The other group of factors were related to the stakeholders' insufficient awareness and understanding of the issues surrounding the topic. This was especially observed when respondents viewed the socialization process relative to orientation to school facilities and financial incentives. The study recommended that there should be policies governing the overall procedures for socializing beginning teachers. These policies should address issues such as the overall standards of the socialization 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 socialization programmes should be developed in schools and among-stakeholders by implementing systematic sensitization on the effective methods and the critical role of teacher socialization.
Teacher-Socialization , Social Learning