Managing expectations: The experiences of early career teachers in Queensland, Australia

PhD Thesis


Chamlin, Tracey Lehua. 2022. Managing expectations: The experiences of early career teachers in Queensland, Australia. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy (DPHD). University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/w8w42
Title

Managing expectations: The experiences of early career teachers in Queensland, Australia

TypePhD Thesis
AuthorsChamlin, Tracey Lehua
Supervisor
1. FirstProf Patrick Danaher
2. SecondDr Eseta Tualaulelei
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy (DPHD)
Number of Pages429
Year2022
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/w8w42
Abstract

In Australia, all graduates from initial teacher education (ITE) programs are expected to be prepared to meet the teaching and learning needs of all students in their classrooms. While Australian research about early career teachers (ECTs) has focused on the perceptions, actions, and/or behaviours of teachers regarding inclusive classroom practices for students with disability, there has been less focus on the day-to-day experiences of ECTs in inclusive learning environments. The aim of this research was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the experiences of ECTs teaching students with diverse learning needs in general education classrooms. Using a constructivist grounded theory (CGT) methodology, data were obtained through intensive interviews with 11 ECTs. The essential methods of grounded theory, including purposive sampling, memoing, and constant comparative analysis, in combination with inductive and abductive reasoning, generated the grounded theory, managing expectations. As an explanatory theory, managing expectations describes the ECTs’ experiences of managing their expectations of what they had expected their early years of teaching to be, as compared to the reality that they each experienced. This grounded theory comprises five overlapping and interrelated dimensions that provide an explication of these ECTs’ experiences: recognising the theory to practice gap; building relationships; seeking support; improving pedagogical practice; and catering for student needs. The insights gained from this study are directly applicable to ITE programs and schools in the form of recommended changes to both practice and policy. The study proposes a reimagined approach to ITE that ensures that new graduates are both classroom ready and context ready, possessing the knowledge, understanding, and skills to manage effectively the range of student learning needs in the variety of diverse school contexts in which they may be teaching. Importantly, it also recommends that ECTs are consistently provided with in-school individualised support that is contextualised and targeted to the organisational expectations of the school and to the pedagogical practices relevant to the school context as well as to the needs of the students in each ECT’s class.

Keywordsearly career teachers; inclusive education; initial teacher education; constructivist grounded theory
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390102. Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
390307. Teacher education and professional development of educators
390407. Inclusive education
Public Notes

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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Education
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