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Being a Novice Teacher in Two Different Settings: Struggles, Continuities, and Discontinuities


by Maria Assuncao Flores — 2006

Drawing upon empirical research, the article explores the ways in which a cohort of novice teachers learned and developed over a 2-year period. It examines the interplay of personal and contextual influences on teachers' development over time and on the (trans)formation of their professional identities. A combination of methods for data collection was used. Findings suggested that novices felt overwhelmed by the amount and variety of duties that they were expected to perform at school. This, along with the lack of support and guidance, forced them into "learning while doing." Most teachers developed according to a narrow and individual perspective, which was accompanied by a shift from a more inductive and student-centered approach to a more traditional one. However, some teachers seem to have developed in positive ways over time. Personal biographies associated with perceptions of school culture and leadership help to explain both similarities and differences among teachers. Implications of the findings for teacher education and induction are discussed.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 108 Number 10, 2006, p. 2021-2052
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12721, Date Accessed: 10/17/2017 10:02:06 PM

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About the Author
  • Maria Assuncao Flores
    University of Minho
    E-mail Author
    MARIA ASSUNÇÃO FLORES is an assistant professor at the University of Minho, Portugal. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. Her research interests include teacher professionalism, teacher education, and change. She is currently working on teachers’ professional development from a longitudinal perspective. Recent publications include The Early Years of Teaching: Issues of Learning, Development and Change, 2004; and “Teacher Professionalisation and Professionalism in Portugal and Brazil: What Do the Policy Documents Tell?” in the Journal of Education for Teaching, 2003, coauthored with E. Shiroma.
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