Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    Is induction and mentoring up to standards?: A phenomenological study of Victorian graduate entry beginning teachers
    ANDERSON, MELODY ( 2013)
    This qualitative study examines a select aspect of teacher professional knowledge. The focus is on the construction of the unique novice-expert relationship commonly referred to as ‘induction and mentoring’. The research aims to contribute to an existing knowledge base about the needs of beginning teachers and their early career experiences. It examines issues of early professionalisation and socialisation, pedagogical knowledge, power and agency, professional identity and the combined impact of these elements on teacher retention. This is a two-phase phenomenological study of the beginning teacher-mentor teacher relationship, conducted over 2007-2009. Phase 1 participants had completed the Graduate Diploma of Education at the University of Melbourne. Phase 2 participants were concurrently enrolled in the final year of their Master of Teaching degree at the University of Melbourne in subjects designed to support beginning teachers in their graduate year. Rich data were yielded from individual interviews with beginning teacher participants (n=18) who were undertaking or had recently completed the statutory process for full registration (16 secondary teachers and 2 early childhood teachers). Fieldwork was carried out in the final school term of 2007 (Phase 1) and 2009 (Phase 2). Transcribed data were horizontalised and searched for the invariant horizons of the phenomenon for analysis. Main themes were identified for discussion. This research is complementary to, and will further support, recent international and Australian research by prominent researchers in the field (Cochran-Smith & Zeichner, 2005; Darling-Hammond, 2012; Devos, 2010; Feiman-Nemser, 2012; Hudson, 2012, Ingersoll, Merrill & May, 2012; Ingersoll & Smith, 2004; Ingersoll & Strong, 2011; Johnson, 2012; Johnson, Berg & Donaldson, 2005; Martinez, 2004; Richardson & Watt, 2006; Wang, Odell & Schwille, 2008). Within an existing international evidence base, the findings contribute to an Australian research focus on models of mentoring for beginning teachers, highlighting that teacher identity, 'turnaround pedagogies' (Kamler & Comber, 2004) and the interrelationship with teacher retention remain central and affirm the enduring issues in respect to the practices of induction and mentoring in the field of education.