This induction support pilot project involved 22 early childhood educators in the interior of British Columbia who had a range of experience, from just beginning to 29 years in the field. Participants in the project were offered opportunities for peer mentoring, professional development, access to university faculty, visits to early learning programs, and online support. The results from the study include greater awareness on the part of participants of the value of peer mentoring and connection to community, increased knowledge, and increased sense of efficacy. At the end of the project, participants reflected on their experiences in semistructured interviews and focus groups. They also shared ways the pilot project could be improved, and the project is being revised based on their feedback.
This purpose of this study was to understand the experiences
and needs of beginning early childhood educators in British
Columbia. Utilizing a mixed methods approach, the research
involved 114 beginning educators who took part in an online
questionnaire, 11 of whom also participated in semistructured
interviews. The key findings were that the work is both
overwhelming and deeply satisfying; the induction support
that beginning early childhood educators receive is haphazard;
and beginning early childhood educators would like
induction support in the form of mentoring or peer support,
observations, feedback, and professional development. A
model for induction support is presented.