Beginning Teacher Learning and Professional Development: An Analysis of Induction Programmes
Langdon, F. J. (2007). Beginning Teacher Learning and Professional Development: An Analysis of Induction Programmes (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2624
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2624
The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the first two years of beginning teachers' professional development and learning. The study sought to document and understand the conditions and discursive practices of seven purposely selected schools that were implementing robust beginning teacher induction programmes. The focus was on induction, located in a comprehensive national system, to reveal the practices and tensions experienced by beginning teachers as they advanced their learning and development. It is anticipated that the seven case studies, along with the working theory of sound induction will add to the body of knowledge in the field of teacher learning and professional development and contribute to the debate about teachers' work and quality teaching.Few studies have investigated beginning teacher (BT) induction in comprehensively resourced systems. Much of the research investigates fragmented parts of BT experiences. The literature shows that when a holistic examination of induction is carried out it tends to be predominantly in the secondary school context. In-depth research into year one and year two teacher learning and professional development in sound primary school induction programmes was not found. The study provides a working theory of beginning teacher learning and, as Renwick (2001, p. 33) suggested, exemplars to maximise the effectiveness of schools to employ and support beginning teachers . Sound induction has the potential to positively influence teacher practice as research evidence indicates early career experiences affect future practice.The research is a multi-site collective case study that takes an interpretative, qualitative stance drawing on constructionism to inform the interplay between sociological and psychological theoretical disciplines, which make the information visible in different ways. The case studies scrutinise in depth, individual school contexts and are instrumental in providing better understanding and theorising about the collective case of beginning teacher induction. The primary sources of data were individual and focus group interview transcriptions. In addition, there were the accompanying notes and related school documentation.iData analysis was an iterative process of inductive and deductive reasoning to make meaning that moved beyond description to identify categories and themes that emerged both within schools and across schools.Evidence of sound BT induction was found although variation in induction practices between schools was noted. Beginning teacher induction went beyond advice and guidance to incorporate educative mentoring in collaborative, collegial schools where high expectations prevailed. The findings suggest that teacher learning should be informed but not constrained by lock-step models of learning and development. Aspects of development as a professional were advanced and, in other respects, marginalised by the education policy focus on children's achievement. Feedback and children's learning and achievement underpin beginning teachers' judgements about their development as teachers. The socio-economic school contexts were less important than the quality of leadership, school cultures, expectations and the confidence of individual novice teachers. The study raises questions about the nature of teachers' work and teacher, government and societal expectations. It is anticipated that these findings will increase understanding of, and provoke debate about beginning teacher learning and their development as professionals.
The University of Waikato
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