Teacher education: A question of sustaining teachers
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In many places around the world, early career teacher attrition is a major concern. The costs associated with teachers leaving within their first 5 years of teaching are significant in economic terms. However, there are also concerns that the rapid movement of beginning teachers in and out of teaching creates less educative school and classroom environments and, consequently, less ideal learning conditions for students. Another significant concern is the impact on the identities of early career teachers who leave teaching. With these concerns in mind, a pressing question for teacher educators is how do we create teacher education spaces that enable beginning teachers to compose identities that sustain them in teaching. Working from a view of teacher knowledge as personal practical knowledge that is expressed on professional knowledge landscapes, (Clandinin DJ, Connelly FM (1995) Teachers' professional knowledge landscapes. Teachers College Press, New York) and (Connelly FM, Clandinin DJ (1988) Teachers as curriculum planners: narratives of experience. Teachers College Press, New York, Connelly FM, Clandinin DJ (1999) Shaping a professional identity: stories of educational practice. Teachers College Press, New York) have developed narrative ways of thinking about knowledge, school contexts and teacher identities (understood narratively as stories to live by). It is from this conceptual framework that we Schaefer et al. (Alberta J Educ Res, (2012)) have undertaken a study of early career teachers who are still teaching as well as those who have left teaching within the first 5 years. Working with early career teachers, our purpose is to better understand the stories to live by of beginning teachers and to think about how we might better sustain them as teachers. We see teacher education as playing a key part in helping to sustain beginning teachers.
Preparing teachers for the 21st Century
Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators