ERIC Number: ED446087
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-24
When, How and Who Do I Ask for Help? Novices' Perceptions of Learning and Assistance.
Hertzog, Hillary S.
This study investigated how unprepared beginning teachers engaged in problem solving within the context of a community of practice, examining how they: defined and perceived classroom problems; negotiated the meaning of problems; and viewed the mentor teacher's role. Twelve alternatively certified beginning teachers participated. Each completed an initial descriptive interview, bi-weekly interviews, and an exit interview. They completed 15 weekly questionnaires, which had them describe: the three most important problems faced that week, who they sought advice from, and what action they ultimately took. Each participant's classroom teaching was observed six times. Participants' problems related to interpersonal relationships, school-related business/routines, classroom management, behavior management, time management, curriculum planning, and instruction delivery. Teachers turned to mentors or a variety of other people for assistance, particularly to other new teachers. Comparison of observed and perceived problems indicated that those who perceived the fewest problems had the most significant problems in teaching, and vice versa. When problems with interpersonal relationships dominated teachers' lives, their teaching effectiveness declined. All respondents expressed the need to be considered an accepted member of the school community, describing how membership influenced decisions that affected problems within and outside of the classroom. (Contains 31 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 24-28, 2000).