Preparing and supporting early childhood pre-service teachers in their professional journey
This study focuses on early childhood pre-service teacher education students as they engage with the BRiTE (Building Resilience in Teacher Education) modules during their studies. These modules are designed to provide pre-service teachers with a range of strategies to support their resilience. The BRiTE modules are integrated into subject content in each year of the degree. The study explores pre-service teachers' capacity to exercise strategies and build resilience throughout their studies and during their Professional Experience placements. First-year students were surveyed about anticipated challenges in their initial placement following completion of the 'Building Resilience' and 'Relationships' modules. Eleven interviews were then undertaken with pre-service teachers across each year cohort, exploring individual stories of challenge and resilience whilst on placement. Analysis of responses revealed a range of challenges including the desire to 'belong' and develop relationships, which pre-service teachers managed in increasingly proactive ways as they took on teacher identity. Pre-service teachers identified strategies from the modules that they applied in their practice and had suggestions for effective ways to embed BRiTE in the degree. The study has implications for support of pre-service teachers preparatory to, and on, entering the profession.