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Teachers in training: Their transition experiences and their perceptions of preparedness to teach in Solomon Islands schools

This study examines the experiences of seven Solomon Islands teachers who completed the transition from being unqualified teachers (UQTs) to fully qualified professionals (FQPs) through the Teachers in Training Programme (TITP) at the Solomon Islands College of Higher Education (SICHE). It is unfortunate that in many developed and developing countries, such as the Solomon Islands, large numbers of UQTs are employed in schools. The School of Education (SOE) at SICHE, supported by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD), and with funding provided by the New Zealand government through NZAID, established the TITP to help address the issue of UQTs in Solomon Islands schools. The teachers at the centre of this study worked through this programme during 2007, 2008 and 2009, and took up teaching positions in schools as FQPs in 2010. The study presents the narratives of seven individuals who made this journey over the 2007 – 2010 period. These narratives are analysed to identify key features of the participants‟ transition and to evaluate the impact of the programme on those engaged in it. Research data for this study were collected using qualitative research methods. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to investigate the perceptions of the seven participants of their transition experiences in their work in schools as UQTs; as participants in the TITP; and their perceptions of their teaching at the time of data collection as fully qualified professionals (FQPs). The seven participants were selected from four Community High Schools (CHSs); three schools were from an urban area and one was from a rural setting. The collection of data was done in the Solomon Islands in April and May, 2010. The thematic analysis approach was used to analyse the study data. The data collected and analysed revealed some interesting findings. Of particular interest were the reasons the participants gave for becoming teachers; the professional and personal difficulties they had experienced; their perceptions of the form of support they received; the change of attitudes toward teaching and teaching practices that they experienced; the impact of the TITP in their ii preparation to be FQPs; and their perceptions of their teaching now as FQPs. The findings of the study suggest that UQTs need to be supported and nurtured with the provision of mentors as they make the journey to being teachers in schools. The study findings also suggest that schools need to be supported to accommodate UQTs; and that the TITP as a teacher education programme should be continued and extended until such time as the issue of UQTs in the Solomon Islands is properly addressed.
Type of thesis
Maelagi, E. E. R. (2011). Teachers in training: Their transition experiences and their perceptions of preparedness to teach in Solomon Islands schools (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/5593
University of Waikato
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