Year

2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Faculty of Education

Abstract

The problems that beginning teachers face early in their careers are a major factor in growing rates of attrition among neophyte teachers. Coupled with high rates of attrition the ageing teacher population, specifically in New South Wales, may cause a teacher shortage crisis in coming years. New Scheme Teacher (NST) induction is an imperative process in acculturating teachers to their new careers and helping them overcome the hardships of teaching and the accreditation process. Empirical research has established that an effective induction program can improve teacher attrition rates by up to 20%. While induction practices have become more common in recent years, there are still no mandated structures for inducting NSTs into the profession; this is especially poignant in the independent education sector, which does not have a bureaucratic hierarchy to monitor their practices. The aim of this research is to ascertain the nature of NST teacher induction in a selection of independent schools in NSW and determine whether those programs are effective.

A second aim of this study is to map out the factors and elements that are best suited to NST induction in NSW and make policy recommendations with regard to best practice induction. Six independent schools in NSW were part of a collective case study in which interviews with administrators and NSTs were undertaken to understand the general phenomena of induction practices in these schools. The research found that the implementation and management of NST induction in the schools selected was unsystematic and depended wholly on the school‟s conception of induction, which often did not coincide with the New South Wales Institute of Teacher‟s (NSWIT) depiction of effective induction. Although it is difficult to generalise across the spectrum of the independent sector, in view of the fact that there is no mandated structure for induction programs in NSW, it is likely that the cases selected provide a snapshot of induction across the state. The implications of these findings are significant to the process of NST induction. The findings support mandated and structured NST induction that receives oversight to ensure that beginning teachers are receiving the necessary support to become highly qualified career professionals.

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