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Ask A REL Response

March 2017


What research has been conducted on evidence-based practices for new teacher orientation and retention?


Following an established REL Southeast research protocol, we conducted a search for research reports as well as descriptive study articles on teacher professional development. We focused on identifying resources that specifically addressed the effects of professional development on teacher performance and student outcomes in K-12 education. The sources included ERIC and other federally funded databases and organizations, research institutions, academic research databases, and general Internet search engines (For details, please see the methods section at the end of this memo.)

We have not evaluated the quality of references and the resources provided in this response. and We offer them only for your reference. Also, we searched the references in the response from the most commonly used resources of research, but they are not comprehensive and other relevant references and resources may exist.

Research References

  1. Corbell, K. A., Osborne, J., & Reiman, A. J. (2010). Supporting and retaining beginning teachers: A validity study of the perceptions of success inventory for beginning teachers. Educational Research and Evaluation, 16(1), 75-96.
    From the abstract: In the United States, 50% of beginning teachers leave the classroom in their first 5 years of teaching (Ingersoll & Smith, 2004). This study evaluated the psychometric properties of the Perceptions of Success Inventory for Beginning Teachers (PSI-BT), an instrument that can be used to make informed decisions for improving induction programs and ultimately to retain beginning teachers. The PSI-BT assessed factors that contribute to beginning teachers' perceptions of success as well as beginning teacher retention. An extensive literature review, expert opinions, and confirmatory factor analysis established the construct validity of the PSI-BT. Structural equation modeling analyses determined the factors that predicted beginning teacher satisfaction, commitment, retention intentions, and retention. When used to inform targeted professional development and support, we believe this instrument can help school districts improve retention and effectiveness of beginning teachers. (Contains 4 notes, 3 tables, and 5 figures.)
  2. Glazerman, S., Isenberg, E., Dolfin, S., Bleeker, M., Johnson, A., Grider, M.,& Jacobus, M. (2010). Impacts of comprehensive teacher induction: Final results from a randomized controlled study (NCEE 2010-4028). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.
    From the abstract: In 2004, the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences contracted with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct a large-scale evaluation of comprehensive teacher induction. The purpose of the study was to determine whether augmenting the set of services districts usually provide to support beginning teachers with a more comprehensive program improves teacher and student outcomes. This is the study's third and final report on the program's impacts. This report compares retention, achievement, and classroom practices of teachers who were offered comprehensive induction services to teachers who were offered the support normally offered by the school. Teachers assigned to receive comprehensive induction for either one or two years were supported by a full-time mentor who received ongoing training and materials to support the teachers' development. The teachers also were offered monthly professional development sessions and opportunities to observe veteran teachers. The teachers were followed for three years. Data was collected from 1,009 beginning teachers in 418 schools in 17 districts. Districts included in the study were not already offering comprehensive induction services, including paying for full-time mentors. Novice teachers in approximately half of the schools were assigned by lottery to receive comprehensive induction services. In 10 of the districts, these teachers were provided one year of comprehensive induction services; in the remaining 7 districts, the teachers were provided two years of services. Teachers in the schools not assigned to receive comprehensive induction services were provided the support normally offered to novice teachers by the school. Teacher practices were measured via classroom observations conducted in the spring of 2006. Data on teacher retention were collected via surveys administered in the fall of 2006, 2007, and 2008. Student test scores were collected from district administrative records for the 2005-06, 2006-07, and 2007-08 school years. Key findings include: (1) During the comprehensive induction program, treatment teachers received more support than control teachers; (2) The extra induction support for treatment teachers did not translate into impacts on classroom practices in the first year; (3) For teachers who received one year of comprehensive induction, there was no impact on student achievement; (4) For teachers who received two years of comprehensive induction, there was no impact on student achievement in the first two years. In the third year, there was a positive and statistically significant impact on student achievement; and (5) Neither exposure to one year nor exposure to two years of comprehensive induction had a positive impact on retention or other teacher workforce outcomes. The following are appended: (1) Supplemental Information for Chapters II and III; (2) Supplemental Information for Chapter IV; (3) Sensitivity Analyses and Supplemental Information for Chapter V; and (4) Sensitivity Analyses and Supplemental Information for Chapter VI.
  3. Hahs-Vaughn, D., & Scherff, L. (2008). Beginning English teacher attrition, mobility, and retention. The Journal of Experimental Education, 77(1), 21-53.
    From the abstract: Although much research on teacher attrition and mobility exists, few researchers have addressed English teachers specifically. The present authors, using the 1999-2000 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) and the Teacher Follow-Up Survey (TFS; National Center for Education Statistics, 2005) examined individual and school characteristics and mentoring and induction activities that affect beginning English teachers' attrition, mobility, and retention. The results indicated that only salary was statistically significantly related to increased odds of beginning English teachers' leaving the profession. No factors related to decreased attrition. In terms of mobility, no teacher or school characteristics were associated with migration (i.e., changing schools). Reviewing combined effects of mentoring and induction activities when controlling for teacher and school characteristics, the authors found that the results suggested none of the activities were related to attrition and migration. (Contains 11 tables.)
  4. Hong, Y., & Hong, G. (2013). Making sense of the "zero effect" of comprehensive teacher induction programs. Paper presented at the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness 2013 Spring Conference, Washington, D.C.
    From the abstract: Teachers new to the profession may face various challenges and struggle with pedagogy and classroom management. They tend to be less effective in boosting student learning than their more experienced colleagues (Murnane & Phillips, 1981; Raymond, Fletcher, & Luque, 2001; Rivkin, Hanusheck, & Kain, 2001). Since the early 1980s, there has been an increasing recognition of the importance of providing induction support in forms of mentoring programs, workshops, orientation seminars, collaboration opportunities, and other support systems to new teachers in their initial years of teaching (Furtwengler, 1995). At the present time, 27 states require some forms of induction or mentoring support for new teachers, 22 states mandate completion of or participation in an induction program for advanced teaching certification, and 17 states provide dedicated funding for teacher induction. While the general goal of teacher induction is to transform a student of teaching into a competent teacher of students, many evaluations in the past have focused on program impacts on novice teacher retention and professional well-being. Only a few studies have attended to instructional improvement as outcomes (see reviews by Ingersoll & Strong, 2011; Strong, 2009; Wang, Odell, & Schwille, 2008). Most studies (Davis & Higdon, 2008; Evertson & Smithey, 2000; Stanulis & Floden, 2009; Thompson, Paek, Goe, & Ponte, 2004) have suggested that more intensive mentoring and support from university-trained mentors might be associated with a higher rate of using effective instructional practices among new teachers. Yet one study (Roehrig, Bohn, Turner, & Pressley, 2008) reported that new teachers regardless of induction intensity declined in their use of effective teaching practices over the first year. These evaluations have been mostly non-experimental or quasi-experimental with a relatively small sample size. In contrast, a large-scale randomized study funded by the U.S. Department of Education and conducted by a research team from Mathematica Policy Research (Glazerman et. al, 2010) compared two prominent Comprehensive Teacher Induction (CTI) programs with standard district or school support for more than one thousand new teachers. Although teachers in the treatment group experienced more intensive, structured, and sequenced mentoring activities from trained external mentors, they exhibited surprisingly similar teaching practices as those in the control group in the spring of the first year such that a zero effect of the CTI programs was concluded. Reanalyzing data from the comprehensive teacher induction study, the authors aimed to unpack the zero effect of the CTI programs on teaching practices by closely examining the content and activities of mentoring as potential mediators of the induction program effects on teaching practices. The content of mentoring includes teaching planning and preparation, management of classroom environment, instructional content and pedagogy, and professional responsibilities. Key activities for mentees include keeping record and analysis of teaching and student learning, working with a study group of teachers, observing other teachers' teaching, and meeting with local instructional leaders. The following questions were asked: (1) Did treatment teachers and control teachers have different experiences with mentoring content and activities? (2) Did the differences in mentoring experiences mediate the program effect on teaching practices? (3) Was receiving mentoring from external mentors in the CTI programs as effective as receiving mentoring from home-based mentors under the control condition? Preliminary analysis indicated that treatment teachers and control teachers had different experiences with mentoring content and activities. Clearly, beginning teachers assigned to the CTI programs tend to receive a higher dosage of induction content and a higher intensity of mentoring activities. Therefore, we can rule out the second explanation for the zero effect of the CTI programs given that the treatment teachers displayed an equal or higher rate of participation than did the control teachers. The authors did note that a higher level of participation rate in the treatment group apparently did not lead to superiority in teaching practices in comparison with the control group. One would wonder, had the treatment teachers participated in the CTI programs at a lower rate that becomes equal to the control teachers' participation rate in their local induction programs, whether the teaching practices of the treatment group would become inferior to that of the control group. Tables are appended.
  5. Huling, L., Resta, V., & Yeargain, P. (2012). Supporting and retaining novice teachers. Kappa Delta Pi Record, 48(3), 140-143.
    From the abstract: Novice teacher attrition has long been a concern among educators and policy makers who have responded with various types of induction and mentoring programs and increased efforts to recruit more teachers. Yet, these efforts have not created the stable work force needed to implement school reform efforts. The school staffing challenge is further compounded by the fact that more than 50 percent of U.S. teachers and principals are Baby Boomers who are expected to retire soon. These school staffing challenges have been on the horizon for a number of years and, in response, teacher educators in the Texas State University System have implemented and evaluated an innovative induction support model designed to increase teacher retention and to capitalize on the expertise of newly retired master teachers. The Novice Teacher Induction Program (NTIP) was launched in 2002, and researchers have since tracked three cohorts of program participants (a total of 954 new teachers) into their fifth year of teaching. Retention research was completed in 2009, and results indicate that program participants have remained in the profession at higher rates than nonparticipants. Furthermore, reflections from both novice teachers and mentor teachers indicate that they not only greatly valued the experience as it was occurring, but also have continued to recognize its merits in subsequent years. Based on these research findings, NTIP is proving to be a promising induction support model that has great potential for use in other school districts across the nation. (Contains 3 tables and 1 figure.)
  6. Ingersoll, R. & Strong, M. (2011). The impact of induction and mentoring programs for beginning teachers: A critical review of the research. Review of Education Research, 81(2), 201-233.
    From the abstract: This review critically examines 15 empirical studies, conducted since the mid-1980s, on the effects of support, guidance, and orientation programs--collectively known as induction--for beginning teachers. Most of the studies reviewed provide empirical support for the claim that support and assistance for beginning teachers have a positive impact on three sets of outcomes: teacher commitment and retention, teacher classroom instructional practices, and student achievement. Of the studies on commitment and retention, most showed that beginning teachers who participated in induction showed positive impacts. For classroom instructional practices, the majority of studies reviewed showed that beginning teachers who participated in some kind of induction performed better at various aspects of teaching, such as keeping students on task, using effective student questioning practices, adjusting classroom activities to meet students' interests, maintaining a positive classroom atmosphere, and demonstrating successful classroom management. For student achievement, almost all of the studies showed that students of beginning teachers who participated in induction had higher scores, or gains, on academic achievement tests. There were, however, exceptions to this overall pattern--in particular a large randomized controlled trial of induction in a sample of large, urban, low-income schools--which found some significant positive effects on student achievement but no effects on either teacher retention or teachers' classroom practices. The review closes by attempting to reconcile these contradictory findings and by identifying gaps in the research base and relevant questions that have not been addressed and warrant further research. (Contains 1 note, 1 table and 1 figure.)li>
  7. Smith, T. (2007). How do state-level induction and standards-based reform policies affect induction experiences and turnover among new teachers? American Journal of Education, 113(2), 273-309.
    From the abstract: Since the early 1980s, states have been increasingly active in setting policies that structure the initiation or "induction" of new teachers into teaching. This article uses the Schools and Staffing Survey merged with state-level data collected for "Education Week's" "Quality Counts" reports to examine the impact of state policy on beginning teacher turnover. States that mandate participation in induction programs tend to have more beginning teachers mentored, although state-level funding for these programs is not associated with increased mentorship. Requiring that beginning teachers and their mentors be matched by subject, grade, or school does not appear to ensure such a match, although states that have this requirement do have mentorship programs that are more effective at reducing turnover. Finally, states with stronger standards, assessments, and accountability systems have lower turnover among beginning teachers.
  8. What Works Clearinghouse. (2009) WWC quick review of the report "Impacts of comprehensive teacher induction: Results from the first year of a randomized controlled study". Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.
    From the abstract: The selected study examined the effects of comprehensive teacher induction (CTI) programs on teacher outcomes and student achievement. Within participating school districts, schools were randomly assigned to offer their beginning teachers either a CTI program or the district's standard induction program. Within the group participating in CTI, the study examined CTI's effects on teacher practice and teacher retention. This review examines the study's teacher retention analysis. Study authors reported no statistically significant effects of the CTI program on teacher retention rates after one year, nor on the proportion who remained in the teaching profession a year later. Authors also reported no effects of the CTI program on student reading or math achievement. What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) found the analysis of teacher outcomes to be consistent with WWC evidence standards. Analysis of student outcomes was found to be consistent with WWC standards with reservations, as CTI students may have been different from control students in ways not controlled for in the study. [The following report was the focus of this "Quick Review": "Impacts of Comprehensive Teacher Induction: Results from the First Year of a Randomized Controlled Study" (NCEE 2009-4034). S. Glazerman, S. Dolfin, M. Bleeker, A. Johnson, E. Isenberg, J. Lugo-Gil, M. Grider, and E. Britton. National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. 2008. For study report, see ED503061.]


Keywords and Search Strings
The following keywords and search strings were used to search the reference databases and other sources:

  • Teacher retention and orientation
  • Beginning teacher Teacher retention Orientation program Induction

Databases and Resources
We searched ERIC for relevant resources. ERIC is a free online library of over 1.6 million citations of education research sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences. Additionally, we searched Google Scholar and PsychInfo.

Reference Search and Selection Criteria

When we were searching and reviewing resources, we considered the following criteria:

  • Date of the publication: References and resources published for last 15 years, from 2001 to present, were include in the search and review.
  • Search Priorities of Reference Sources: Search priority is given to study reports, briefs, and other documents that are published and/or reviewed by IES and other federal or federally funded organizations, academic databases, including ERIC, EBSCO databases, JSTOR database, PsychInfo, PsychArticle, and Google Scholar.
  • Methodology: Following methodological priorities/considerations were given in the review and selection of the references: (a) study types - randomized control trials,, quasi experiments, surveys, descriptive data analyses, literature reviews, policy briefs, etc., generally in this order (b) target population, samples (representativeness of the target population, sample size, volunteered or randomly selected, etc.), study duration, etc. (c) limitations, generalizability of the findings and conclusions, etc.

This memorandum is one in a series of quick-turnaround responses to specific questions posed by educational stakeholders in the Southeast Region (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina), which is served by the Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast at Florida State University. This memorandum was prepared by REL Southeast under a contract with the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Contract ED-IES-17-C-0011, administered by Florida State University. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IES or the U.S. Department of Education nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.