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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