Improving teacher induction: Supporting precariously employed early career teachers to manage student behaviour

This project aims to examine the induction phase for precariously employed early career teachers, that is, teachers within the first two years of graduation, employed on short-term contracts of less than 1 year, or as casual teachers. In Australia, there is a focus on school-based induction programs; however the majority of beginning teachers are only employed by schools for short periods of time and miss out on the opportunity to participate in induction programs. As a consequence, most early career teachers are not eligible to undertake quality induction programs and may be left feeling unsupported, isolated and lacking confidence in their abilities, increasing the likelihood of them leaving the profession within their first five years of teaching.

Few studies have investigated the induction experiences of precariously employed early career teachers, and research is urgently needed to understand what supports should be provided to teachers during this phase of their career, and to what extent this support contributes to their classroom effectiveness. This study will focus on the induction support available to these teachers in the area of managing student behaviour, because this is one of the ‘most important pedagogical skills’, yet is ‘persistently ranked as one of the top challenges for beginning teachers’ (Kwok, 2021, p. 206).

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