Socialization of alternatively certified teachers into a public school system
Hall, Jeffrey Scott
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This qualitative case study examined how alternatively certified teachers were socialized into a selected public school system. The study incorporated phenomenology as its method and framework, and used interviews and participant observations to collect data. In addition, the theoretical foundations for inductive study were communities of practice (CoP) (Wenger, 1998) and legitimate peripheral participation (LPP) (Lave & Wenger, 1991). The findings of this study may contribute to the theoretical understanding of how alternatively certified teachers are socialized to become members of the teaching community. Specific attention was paid to how alternatively certified members of the teaching community: (a) described their entry into the profession and (b) moved to legitimate participants of the teaching profession. The findings were individually categorized and compiled for each of the three participants. The interviews produced results based on data collected from each participant and the results were categorized according to the following commonalities and themes: (a) communities of practice, (b) educational leadership, (c) mentoring, and (d) teacher induction programs. The findings revealed communities of practice and support from educational leadership are important factors to a successful socialization experience for alternatively certified teachers. In addition, strong mentoring and teacher induction programs can also create a flourishing socialization experience. The findings suggest that the participants examined in this case study rendered results which were consistent with effective teacher socialization and induction practices identified in the literature.