An examination of induction practices for beginning teachers in the United States Virgin Islands

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Leadership

First Committee Member

John H. Croghan, Committee Chair


Each year the Virgin Islands Department of Education hires 30 to 40 new teachers, most of whom are usually inexperienced and need help to deal with problems they face during their first year on the job. The purpose of this research was to identify problems faced by beginning teachers in the Virgin Islands, to describe the assistance they received, and to examine the adequacy of such assistance from the perspective of principals, master teachers, experienced teachers, and beginning teachers.Using a questionnaire and interviews, it was found that beginning teachers in the Virgin Islands public school system faced problems related to instruction, students, school and department. The problems were similar to those experienced by novices in the United States, as indicated in the research literature. They included using appropriate teaching strategies, discipline, and learning official curriculum goals, standards and requirements. It was also found that there was no formalized, systematic induction program to help beginning teachers solve their problems, although some assistance was being provided, informally, by principals and colleagues.Based on the findings, several recommendations were made for a more formalized, systematic induction program for beginning teachers in the Virgin Islands public school system. Among these were mentoring by experienced colleagues for at least the first year of teaching, adequate release time for mentors and novices so they could observe and critique each other's performance, and involvement of the University of the Virgin Islands to bridge the gap between theory and the realities of the classroom.


Education, Administration

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