Early career teachers’ foothold– an ecosystemic approach

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    Abstract

    Teacher induction and foothold: Documentation of strategies at school level in a Danish municipality. Lisbeth Lunde Frederiksen, VIA University College, Denmark lluf@via.dk Frede Krøjgaard, VIA University College, Denmark fk@via.dk Network: 1 Keywords: Mentor job description, TIP elements, educative mentoring, implementing mentor scheme, newly qualified teacher. General description on research questions, objectives and theoretical framework In Denmark, teacher education is a 4-year, 240 ECTS pts, bachelor education including three practice modules. Nationally, there is neither any programme nor policy on teacher induction making it a general expectation that NQTs are capable of carrying out skilled teaching in all its aspects such as planning, carrying out teaching and evaluating - in short, being a professional teacher - from day one. Teacher education and schools are governed by centrally defined measures for quality and objectives described in terms of competencies (BEK, 2015, LBK, 2017), thus leaving how to fulfil it very much up to local levels - i.e. municipalities, schools and teacher educations. Central authorities have put in place means for monitoring and evaluation. Hence, in a way education and schools are centrally and locally managed simultaneously, which offers possibilities and challenges (cf. Svensson, L.G. & Karlsson, 2008). Consequently, the support for newly qualified teachers is very arbitrary and appears different from municipality to municipality and even from school to school, as municipalities rarely form policies on teacher induction for its schools. According Frederiksen et al. (2017) almost half of the NQTs experience lack of structure and framing regarding their induction and a similar proportion is lacking initiative from school management to establish sparring and guiding for them. Quite many express that they are challenged by how to evaluate students’ learning, how to deal with including students with special needs and difficult relations, and they do not feel sufficiently supported by colleagues and school management. A relatively large number of NQTs leave school after one or two years (Jonassen, 2016), pushing teacher induction into the agenda. Furthermore, a quarter of the NQTs doubt whether they have a future in public primary and lower secondary school (Frederiksen et al., 2017). The NQTs call for support from experienced teachers for implementing and developing their teaching with reference to students’ optimal learning (Frederiksen et al., 2017) in accordance with the notion of educative mentoring (Bradbury, 2010). Setting up mentor schemes seems an obvious way to ensure NQTs’ support. Experience however, shows that it takes time and dedicated organizational work to have new resource persons working well in practice, and that the effort demanded to reach that point is often underestimated (Danmarks Evalueringsinstitut 2009). Furthermore, it is pointed out how necessary it is for all parties to undertake a process of mutual clarification and negotiation in terms of defining the resource person’s role, responsibility and workload within the resources provided, hence creating a shared understanding of the resource person’s work and priorities. Still though, support from and close contact to the school leadership is crucial for the resource person (Danmarks Evalueringsinstitut 2009). Working out descriptions at school level offers a possibility to adjust mentoring to local conditions which according Athanases et al (2008) is very important. The aim of this research project is to develop and test a prototype of a teacher induction program in collaboration with a Danish municipality, a program that focuses NQTs´ professional development and foothold. The municipality in question sat up a general framework for implementing teacher induction at all its approximately thirty schools. It was made mandatory for schools to assign a mentor to every NQT and for mentors to attend the mentor course, but also for each school to work out mentor job descriptions and plan for other induction activities. Research question for this study: How and to what extend does NQTs’ continual professional development appear in school level framing of teacher induction programs? Methods/methodology In our collaboration with the municipality we use a design-based research approach (DBR), a widely used approach for improving educational environment through interventions (Akker et al.,2006, Cobb et al., 2003). We have identified the DBR’s 4-phased cycle at four levels and contexts in our cooperation with the municipality and the schools: • Central administration - general framing of content and resources, • Developing mentor competencies - mentor course • School - strategy descriptions and implementation • Mentor-mentee cooperation In this presentation, we will mainly focus school level strategy from how it appears in documents worked out at the individual schools. We will make use of documentary analysis (Bowen, 2009). To some extent, we expect the recent documents to reflect the content of the mandatory mentor course. Here mentors’ attention were drawn to the significance of having clear job descriptions for their work, and especially to be aware of how to carry out educative mentoring (Bradbury, 2010) and how to support the development of NQT’s professional identity. Roughly, the documents fall into three categories. 1. Old documents prepared before the new municipal strategy 2. Documents prepared at the beginning of the implementation of the strategy, but before mentors’ participation in the mentor course 3. Documents prepared or revised later in the process. Some schools are able to present documents from all categories, some only from one or two categories. We are going to analyse what characterizes the descriptions belonging to each category, and in cases, how descriptions develop for the individual school. Expected outcomes/results In the municipal strategy, mentors are picked out to play a crucial role. Hence, many of them also get deeply involved in preparing descriptions and plans. We will present an overview of how schools have chosen to implement the municipal framework. In our presentation, we are going to present a preliminary analysis of how documents potentially support implementation of mentoring, and how documents reflect ideas and approaches presented at the mentor course, with a special eye on educative mentoring understood as simultaneous views on NQTs’ professional development and her/his students’ learning processes. Four schools are taking part in a follow-up research on implementing the overall municipal strategy. This part of the program will provide us some information about how local descriptions are carried out in practice. Data will come from observing mentoring in practice, interviews and video/audio logbooks. Questions are many. Will it be possible to identify good descriptions, that are paving the road for good mentoring, or is the individual mentor all that matters? Can a successful process concerning working out mentor job descriptions be linked to the quality of mentoring and induction in practice? We will try to answer questions like these in our presentation. References: Akker, J.V.D., Gravenmaijer K., McKenney S. & Nieveen N. (2006) (Ed.). Educational Design Research, London & New York: Routledge. Athanases, S., Abrams, J., Jack G., Johnson, V., Kwock, S., McCurdy, J., Riley, S.& Totaro, S. (2008). Curriculum for mentor development: problems and promise in the work of new teacher induction leaders, Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40:6, 743-770, BEK nr. 1068 af 08/09/2015. Bekendtgørelse om uddannelsen til professionsbachelor som lærer i folkeskolen. Bowen, Glenn A. (2009). Document Analysis as a Qualitative Research Method, Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. 9 Issue: 2, pp.27-40, https://doi.org/10.3316/QRJ0902027 Bradbury, L. U. (2010). Educative Mentoring: Promoting Reform-Based Science Teaching. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 94(6), 1049–1071. https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.20393 Cobb P. et al (2003). Design Experiments in Educational Research. In: Educational Researcher, Vol. 32 No 1 pp 1-13 Danmarks Evalueringsinstitut (2009). Særlige ressourcepersoner i folkeskolen. Frederiksen, L.L., Krøjgaard, F. & Paaske, K.A. (2017). Lærerstart og fodfæste i et livslangt karriereforløb https://www.ucviden.dk/portal/files/44628052/L_rerstart_og_fodf_ste_m._bilag_1_6.pdf LBK nr. 1510 af 14/12/2017. Bekendtgørelse af lov om folkeskolen - Undervisningsministeriet Svensson, L.G. & Karlsson (2008). Profejoner, kontroll og anssvar. I Molander & Terum (red.) Profesjonsstudier. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. Jonassen, A. (2016, August 13). Hver sjette nyuddannet lærer dropper folkeskolen inden for det første år (Every sixth newly qualified teacher leaves the municipal school within the first year). Politiken. Retrieved from: http://politiken.dk/indland/uddannelse/art5632312/Hver-sjette-nyuddannet-l%C3%A6rer-dropper-folkeskolen-inden-for-det-f%C3%B8rste-%C3%A5r
    OriginalsprogDansk
    Publikationsdato7 sep. 2018
    StatusUdgivet - 7 sep. 2018
    BegivenhedECER 2018: Inclusion and Exclusion, Resources for Educational Research? - Free University Bolzano, Bolzano, Italien
    Varighed: 4 sep. 20187 sep. 2018
    https://eera-ecer.de/ecer-2018-bolzano/

    Konference

    KonferenceECER 2018
    LokationFree University Bolzano
    LandItalien
    ByBolzano
    Periode04/09/1807/09/18
    Internetadresse

    Emneord

    • folkeskolen
    • vejledning

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