Teaching and leadership hopes and realities in the first few years: a comparison of new teachers in Scotland and Queensland, Australia.

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Title Teaching and leadership hopes and realities in the first few years: a comparison of new teachers in Scotland and Queensland, Australia.
Author Dempster, Neil Colin; Sim, Cheryl Rae; O'Brien, J.
Publication Title Teaching and leadership hopes and realities in the first few years: a comparison of new teachers in Scotland and Queensland, Australia.
Year Published 2008
Abstract This paper reports on the initial analysis of the first phase of a planned three year study of teacher education graduates in Scotland and Queensland. The study is motivated by the knowledge that a significant proportion of teachers leave the profession within the first three to five years after their graduation. While reasons for entering the profession have been documented in a number of studies, the New Zealand ‘Teachers of Promise Study’ (TOPS) takes a slightly different approach to research on graduates entering the profession (Lovett, 2006). It is designed to find out what happens to those graduates regarded as having the potential to become ‘strong’ teachers by their universities and employers; because it is this group which it is believed is most likely to leave the profession early (Boyd, Langford, Loeb and Wyckoff, 2005). The TOPS project involves 57 teachers who have agreed to be tracked for five years from their third year on. They have ‘signed up’ to participate in in-depth annual interviews in order to ascertain their experiences in different schools and different countries (if and when this occurs). In addition, for those who leave teaching, their reasons for so doing will be documented as well as their subsequent career decisions. Our project is particularly interested in this latter purpose. However, we believe that further comparative studies of graduates entering the profession should be conducted to complement the work of TOPS in New Zealand and other similar studies such as that led in the United States by Johnson and The Project on the Next Generation of Teachers (2004). MacBeath’s (2006) article titled ‘The Talent Enigma’ has added to our rationale for the study. He reviewed literature related to problems with the supply of school leaders. Part of the solution, he argued, was the retention of a pool of quality teachers from whom potential leaders could be drawn. In his view, decline in the supply of leaders is linked in part, to the retention of teachers who hold leadership aspirations or display the capacities to move into leadership roles. While there seems to be little difference in the reasons for choosing teaching as a career between those entering university directly from school in the pursuit of a first career, and those who are regarded as ‘career-changers’ (Lovett, 2006; Cochran-Smith, 2004), there appears to be little attention in the literature on the leadership aspirations or experiences of either group. We believe that even in the early stages of a career, some individuals will have leadership aspirations. Whether career-changers hold these kinds of aspirations in greater numbers of earlier than first career graduates is unknown. Given MacBeath’s (2006) call for the consideration of ‘accelerated’ routes into leadership for those with the capabilities to do so, we are drawn to investigate this aspect with early entrants to the profession.
Peer Reviewed No
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://www.bera.ac.uk/events/conference-archive/annual-conference-2008
Conference name British Educational Research Association Annual Conference 2008
Location Edinburgh, Scotland
Date From 2008-09-03
Date To 2008-09-06
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/24009
Date Accessioned 2009-03-09
Date Available 2013-05-28T04:25:56Z
Language en_US
Research Centre Griffith Institute for Educational Research
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject Educational Administration, Management and Leadership
Publication Type Conference Publications (Full Written Paper - Non-Refereed)
Publication Type Code e2

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