Examining the consequences of inadequate induction for beginning teachers

Year: 2006

Author: Sharp, Heather

Type of paper: Refereed paper

Research indicates that many beginning teachers are not experiencing induction that reflects their needs (Sharp, 2005, unpublished manuscript). In addition, poor induction has a large impact on the perceptions beginning teachers have of their own teaching skills and standards, how they feel about their profession and their relationships with school administrators and students. As part of a larger study, beginning teachers from all Queensland government schools were invited to participate in this study. Twenty four beginning teachers participated in an online survey, which was designed to gauge their views of inductions received in their first year of teaching and to actively examine the perceptions beginning teachers have on their competence as a classroom teacher, based on feedback received during induction programs. Further, this paper focuses on the professional consequences for beginning teachers who receive inadequate induction during their first year of teaching, including consideration in leaving the teaching profession due to perceived inadequacies.

This paper looks thematically at the consequences of inadequate induction, from the perspectives of individual teachers. Their stories illuminate the need to ensure that government policies on employee induction are carried out in schools, which would then enable teachers to have positive perceptions and increased confidence in their abilities to carry out their professional duties. The paper concludes with recommendations for schools and Education Departments to better provide support for first year teachers.