Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Colleges and universities collaborte with P-12 public schools in professional development school (PDS) partnerships to improve teacher training, provide professional development for inservice teachers, improve student achievement, and promote action research. Most research has been done on advantages for preservice teachers and for students in classrooms. The purpose of this qualitative study was to better understand inservice teachers' mentoring experiences in order for a local college to support and enrich the professional lives of inservice teachers. Research questions addressed inservice teachers' perceptions regarding mentoring interactions, effects on their own classroom practices, and professional growth. The purposeful sample was comprised of 17 mentor teachers from 3 elementary schools that had PDS partnerships with a local college. Individual interviews and school cohort focus group transcripts were coded and analyzed using a data analysis spiral. The researcher also collected unobtrusive data relevant to professional development activities in the PDSs. Results indicated that mentor teachers viewed mentoring experiences as positive and felt rejuvenated. Participants noted that reciprocal learning took place and that they had grown professionally. The local college has implemented changes and plans to continue to improve programs based of the study findings. Other colleges and universities can utilize the study results and the PDS model to improve inservice teachers' mentoring experiences. Inservice teachers may be empowered by successful mentoring experiences to create change in their schools as they take leadership roles, engage in action research, and promote academic success for all learners in the 21st century.