Impact of support for preservice teachers placed in disadvantaged schools

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

One of the greatest challenges facing Australian school education is the disparity in quality of education across schools. One aspect of addressing this issue has been greater regulation and requirements to improve the quality of initial teacher education. Course accreditation standards in teacher education programs require secondary preservice teachers to have studied undergraduate units relevant to their specialist teaching area. Many of these secondary preservice teachers will have a professional practice experience in a disadvantaged school. However, issues around managing student behaviour and overcoming students’ poor literacy skills can leave these preservice teachers floundering and unwilling to seek employment in these schools after graduation. In an effort to increase the number of teacher graduates choosing to seek employment in disadvantaged schools, this research examined the impact of a one-on-one subject specialist mentor and targeted workshop program for 54 preservice secondary science, mathematics and English teachers from a single university attending 24 disadvantaged schools. Using a quantitative survey, their self-efficacy was compared with preservice teachers placed in more advantaged schools. Qualitative data comprised a written questionnaire, workshop resources, meeting notes, and email communications between mentors and preservice teachers. The findings demonstrated that some preservice teachers placed in disadvantaged schools may experience significant personal, classroom and school based issues. However, their self-efficacy did not differ significantly from those placed in more advantaged schools.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)19-37
Number of pages19
JournalIssues in Educational Research
Volume29
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2019

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