In this thesis I present an investigation of the experiences of 14 beginning primary school teachers in their first year of teaching. Using an inductive qualitative methodology, data was collected through multiple observations and interviews with the participants over 16 months, augmented with researcher notes, site documents and participant surveys. The key findings indicate these teachers were frustrated by their inability to enact their visions of themselves as teachers. These frustrations were attributable to their lack of teacher knowledge across a variety of knowledge domains, and a lack of coherent support in the schools in which they were employed. The thesis presents two frameworks through which these findings can be understood, and responded to. The first is a conceptual framework which links the spirit of teaching to the substance of teaching, using two Greek concepts – ‘pnuema’, which is the spirit, and ‘pragma’, which is the substance. The second framework is a structural one that describes how an alignment between ‘pneuma’ and ‘pragma’ can be achieved whilst simultaneously filling teachers’ knowledge gaps. In this framework, teacher education is represented as an enterprise that is contiguous across the multiple contexts of self, university, practicum and employment. Teacher education is a continuous endeavour that has already begun before prospective teachers enter their teacher preparation courses and continues until they leave the profession.
|Date of Award
|Dan Kaczynski (Supervisor) & Janet Smith (Supervisor)