Source: Teacher Development, Vol. 14, No. 4, November 2010, 501–517.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
This longitudinal study considers beginning teachers’ perspectives relating to the challenges of finding and holding employment and of succeeding in their careers and classrooms.
The participants were a group of student teachers who completed one-year Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) in geography at the same Scottish university in 2005–2006. Three successive cohorts have now been tracked longitudinally.
The first three years of a long-term study provide an initial insight into factors which influence new teacher retention and shape their Early Professional Learning (EPL) journey.
Three issues shaping new teacher identities within the current Scottish context have been identified: employment uncertainty, New Teacher Induction Scheme ethos and expectations, and ensuring continuous and secure EPL.
Employment-related issues are of central concern to new teachers.
The problems of continuity and progression were especially true of the majority of post-induction teachers within the second cohort who subsequently could only obtain short-term supply work.
The authors conclude that the developmental needs of new teachers making this post-induction transition should be explored in order to identify strategies which ease this transition and better support their post-induction experience. CPD provision and opportunities to integrate supply teachers into school communities require to become an employment right.
Furthermore, the two issues which are the main focus of this article – measuring the teacher workforce and meeting its development needs – remain a concern for all governments.