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Overseas Trained Teachers' Experiences of Professional Socialisation in New Zealand

This research traces the early experiences of overseas trained teachers (OTTs) recommencing their careers in urban secondary schools in New Zealand. The teachers’ professional lives during the first three terms of their employment are explored through their experiences. Participants’ share their perceptions and interpretations of the new situations, processes and events they encounter in their schools and beyond. The purpose of this research is to discover how immigrant teachers experience the systems and processes required to become members of their professional community. Aspects of participants’ experiences of national systems for immigration, qualification recognition, teacher registration, and salary assessment are discussed. School systems for teacher induction and professional learning are also critiqued. The research contributes to the debate about the role and integration of OTTs in New Zealand schools. It will be of interest to national agencies, school principals and those with responsibility for teacher supply, teacher education and the provision of ongoing professional learning for teachers. The research also contributes to greater understanding of the lived experiences of migrant professionals in New Zealand. An interpretive research paradigm has been followed and a hermeneutic phenomenological methodological approach chosen to capture the lived experiences of the participants through their journeys towards professional socialisation. The research is guided by the philosophical thinking of Heidegger, Gadamer and van Manen. Ten participants shared their lived experiences through reports and anecdotes of events, relationships, emotions, and subjectivities as they occurred within the structures, institutions, and policies of their new environments. The findings revealed OTTs’ negative experiences with multilayered systems as they strove to establish their private and professional identities. The findings have uncovered systemic failure by agencies and schools to provide the necessary formal induction and ongoing assistance to meet the perceived needs of OTTs and facilitate their transition into New Zealand classrooms. It is shown that schools and their OTTs rely heavily on informal arrangements between colleagues to overcome knowledge gaps and communicate information. The progress of immigrant teachers towards professional socialisation is affected by their positioning and that of their schools. It is also shown to be aided by involvement with extra-curricula activities and the resumption of familiar hobbies, sports and interests. The research raises concern for the sustenance of OTTs in the New Zealand teaching community. It indicates that there is need for a wider study, and the follow up of teachers who immigrate to New Zealand to inform the systems and procedures for their professional socialisation.
Type of thesis
Butcher, J. (2012). Overseas Trained Teachers’ Experiences of Professional Socialisation in New Zealand (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6488
University of Waikato
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