Professional identity pathways of educators in alternative schools: the utility of reflective practice groups for educator induction and professional learning
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Working with young people in alternative schools poses particular challenges for the professional identity of educators. This research explored educator identity and development in practice in a network of alternative schools re-enfranchising young people. There was a focus on educator induction in the study. Different ways of being an educator were required in order to re-engage young people facing multiple complexities in their lives. A three-stage design experiment methodology was employed to investigate how ways of working, valuing and professional learning influenced educator identity and development. Iterative cycles of reflection embedded in the methodology allowed practitioners' perspectives to influence the design of enhanced induction processes, leading to the prototyping of reflective practice groups as an induction strategy. Findings provide insights into the influence of reflective practice on educator identity and development in relation to two overarching themes synthesised in thematic analysis of interview data: relationships, and changing perspectives through reflection.
Education not elsewhere classified