Section archive - Beginning Teachers
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Teacher learning in communities of practice: The affordances of co-planning for novice and veteran teachers' learning
Collaborative reflective inquiry in teacher communities of practice (CoP) supports their professional situated learning. However, the CoP model entails at least three limitations and challenges for teacher learning: novice teachers can seldom act as legitimate peripheral participants since they are obliged to do the same work that veterans do; veterans' learning is neglected since they are expected to teach the novices; and power dynamics between veterans and novices may constrain the group's reflective inquiry and, consequently, its learning. In this case-study, the authors explore the dynamics between veteran and novice science teachers in a purposefully sampled case of three teachers engaged in collaborative planning in a professional development community. They examine the implications of these dynamics for the group's reflective inquiry, using linguistic ethnographic micro-analytic methods to analyze audio- and video-recordings of the planning session. The findings demonstrate how in a collaborative planning context, legitimate peripheral participation is afforded, thereby mitigating face threats and supporting learning for both novice and veteran teachers. The study highlights the unique affordances of collaborative planning for science teachers' reflective inquiry, advancing our understanding of the social dimension of teacher learning. This study contributes to the fields of teacher learning in CoPs and teacher planning.
Updated: Aug. 01, 2021
Rapid developments in ideas of knowledge, the role of educational technologies and the needs of students suggest that innovation is important in higher education. However, many factors can affect how and whether innovation occurs. In a study of identified innovative teachers, five thematic dimensions were identified that served to support or constrain pedagogical innovation: the teacher, the institution, colleagues, students and the teaching environment. In this paper the authours discuss the ways in which innovative teachers experienced each theme within their practice. They also consider how individuals and institutions might better support pedagogical innovation.
Updated: Jul. 15, 2021
The overall objective of this study was to investigate the constraints that have occurred regarding the first-year English language teachers’ professional identity construction at five Chinese universities. The approach adopted in the study was Narrative Inquiry. Interview data with five teachers were collected and analysed through a framework that identified emergent salient themes. All the preliminary results indicated major constraints in their experiences as first-year EFL teachers in the current Chinese university context. The discussion reflects on their newly negotiated and renegotiated identity after having suffered particular dilemmas in addition to the general difficulties, and how these processes have further reformulated their outlook in ways they did not expect.
Updated: Jul. 14, 2021
Reflecting on Emotions During Teaching: Developing Affective-Reflective Skills in Novice Teachers Using a Novel Critical Moment Protocol
Affective-reflective skills are an integral component of classroom pedagogy, providing teachers with emotional understandings and confidence that can improve overall classroom performance. This article presents a case study of early career primary school teachers, showing how such affective-reflective skills can be developed through iterations of a purpose-designed collaborative protocol. Use of this novel protocol allowed teachers to examine their classroom practices via critical moment analysis of affective responses observed from lesson videos. Findings demonstrate how teachers’ use of this non-judgmental and self-evaluative protocol contributed to an emerging understanding of the relationship between their affective-reflective skills and teaching confidence. Findings support an argument for reframing teacher professional learning, from a focus largely on curriculum content and pedagogy, to a focus that includes the teacher’s emotional experience and its subsequent analysis, as part of the learned content that supports the growth of teacher confidence.
Updated: Jun. 24, 2021
First steps in a second career: characteristics of the transition to the teaching profession among novice teachers
The main purpose of the present study was to illuminate the factors that enhance or inhibit job satisfaction among second-career teachers (SCTs) in their initial period at school. Data was gathered from questionnaires filled out by 80 novice SCTs and a comparable group of 82 First-Career Teachers (FCTs). Personal interviews were conducted with eight SCTs. The findings show that the most powerful predictor of high job satisfaction among SCTs is the availability of support whereas the most powerful predictor among FCTs is workload. The qualitative analysis suggests that experience acquired by SCTs before they start teaching provides a repertoire of helpful strategies, thus improving their ability to cope with stressful experiences. The findings support the trend to advocate teaching as a second career for experienced professionals.
Updated: May. 13, 2021
This study offers insights into the ways in which beginning elementary teachers do or do not replicate the kinds of classroom management systems used during their own childhood elementary education experiences as a result of what Dan Lortie calls the apprenticeship of observation. Results of this study indicate that, when designing their classroom management systems, first-year teachers draw from a range of both traditional and progressive influences including what they recall of their own childhood experiences, what they learned in their teacher preparation program, and what the more experienced teachers at their schools do. Possible conclusions point to the need for teacher preparation programs to remain engaged with graduates in order to help solidify what was learned through the program.
Updated: May. 11, 2021
Beginning teachers’ developing clinical judgement: knowledge, skills and attributes for clinical teaching
This paper reports on a case study that tracked a group of beginning teachers who were undertaking an employment-based model of Initial Teacher Education (ITE). This ITE program combined academic study for a Masters-level degree with part-time employment in secondary schools. The beginning teachers were concurrently engaged in face-to-face and blended learning, with substantial professional in-school experience (0.8). The focus of the study was an investigation of the development of clinical judgement and how these beginning teachers articulate the knowledge, skills and attributes required for their professional decision-making with a model of clinical teaching. Drawing on data collected using open-text questionnaires at two-time points, findings of the study indicate a strong acknowledgement of the centrality of a student centered focus by the beginning teachers. Participants’ responses indicated awareness of the importance of using data to identify learning need/s and for planning pedagogic interventions. However, there was comparatively limited evidence of beginning teachers generating data on or reflecting on the implications of their pedagogical choices to inform adjustments for future interventions. This highlights the importance of providing beginning teachers with ongoing support to build their clinical judgement and refine its application in clinical teaching.
Updated: Apr. 26, 2021
The aims of this paper are to explore novice teachers’ experiences in the Covid-19 crisis, and to examine their professional identity construction process. During the global crisis, novice teachers had to deal with unexpected challenges and take advantage of new opportunities. This study is based on 32 narratives of novice teachers in Israel who took part in a one semester online Zoom induction in two workshops. The open conversations narratives in the meetings were recorded and transcribed, and then subjected to categorical content analysis. The findings show the challenges and opportunities related to three central categories: technological, pedagogical and educational system in the novice teachers’ experiences. The main contributions of this study are: understanding the novice teachers’ experiences in the uncertainty and turmoil of the crisis, and learning about professional dilemmas and tensions which gave rise to various challenges and opportunities that that supported the construction their professional identity.
Updated: Apr. 12, 2021
“Reality Shock” of Beginning Teachers? Changes in Teacher Candidates’ Emotional Exhaustion and Constructivist-Oriented Beliefs
In the present study, the authors investigated changes in teacher candidates’ constructivist beliefs and emotional exhaustion. They assessed 163 German mathematics teacher candidates 3 times: at the beginning of, in the middle of, and after they completed the induction program. The results revealed a statistically significant decrease in constructivist beliefs and an inverted U-shaped change in emotional exhaustion with an increase at the beginning of the induction program and a decrease afterward. They also found that personal (i.e., math enjoyment) and social (i.e., instrumental support from peers and a constructivist-oriented mentor teacher) resources buffered the decrease in constructivist beliefs and the increase in emotional exhaustion.
Updated: Mar. 08, 2021
Beginning teachers’ work satisfaction, self-efficacy and willingness to stay in the profession: a question of job demands-resources balance?
In the present study, a cluster analysis of four job demands and five job resources among 328 Swedish teachers in their first year of teaching, resulted in four typical work situations: the advantageous situation (n = 103); the balanced situation (n = 148); the threat situation (n = 34); and the pressed situation (n = 43). Clear differences were found in how teachers in these different clusters perceived their work satisfaction, self-efficacy and willingness to stay, with the teachers in the former two work situations scoring significantly higher than the latter two. The results indicate that teachers can have a very different experience of work at the start of their careers. These findings imply that work environment interventions and induction programmes to support new teachers and prevent them from leaving the profession must be well adapted to the context.
Updated: Feb. 27, 2021