Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Morgridge College of Education

First Advisor

Nicholas Cutforth, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

P. Bruce Uhrmacher

Third Advisor

Paul Michalec

Fourth Advisor

Mary Jo Pollman

Fifth Advisor

Paul Colomy


A/r/tography, Arts-based research, Ethno-mimesis, Performance ethnography, Teacher education


The United States is focusing on the important and worthy goal of no child being left behind and in order to accomplish this goal, we must ensure that no teacher, including the first-year teacher, is left behind. This study explores the experiences of three first-year teachers on a monthly basis and uncovers the successes, challenges, supports, and needs that they encounter.

Five research questions guided this study: 1. What are the experiences of a group of first-year teachers and in what ways were these experiences challenging, supportive, or detrimental? 2. What are the benefits for the first-year teachers in meeting monthly with other first-year teachers in a non-evaluative seminar setting to reflect upon and describe their experiences? 3. What is the value in using a descriptive feedback process (Rodger's 2006) in focus group discussions with first-year teachers and what effect does the process have on the reflective practices of the first-year teachers? 4. What effect does the process of creating visual have on the first year teacher's ability to reflect upon and express their experiences in meaningful ways? 5. What are the implications of this study for teacher education programs, schools, districts, and induction and mentoring programs? Focus group discussions, ethno-mimesis, a/r/tography, and performance ethnography are used to explore the first-year teachers experiences. Findings from the study demonstrated that the first-year teachers endured a significant transition from student teaching to teaching and encountered unexpected situations over which they had minimal control. They faced challenges with student behaviors and stressful events such as classroom parties. They encountered varying levels of support from teammates, colleagues, principals, and parents. This study's monthly seminar meetings in a non-evaluative setting were beneficial to the first-year teachers and provided them with the opportunity to focus on the development of reflective practice. This study also demonstrated that a descriptive feedback process (Rodger's 2006) was detrimental rather than beneficial in conducting focus groups, but proved useful during data analysis. This stud `s use of art as a process of discovery led the first-year teachers to take more risks and teach more creatively than they would have otherwise.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Marilyn F. Cullen-Reavill


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

294 p.


Teacher education, Curriculum development