10 SES 11 D, Politics and Recognition for Beginning Teachers
The transition from education to employment is experienced as challenging by many candidates from professional study programs. There are ongoing debates on how the relationship between theoretical and practical knowledge should be conceived and approached (Eraut 1994, 2004). In Norway, these debates have become particularly relevant for teacher education due to changes in structure and content.
According to Zeichner (2014), two different strategies have emerged in designing initial teacher education (ITE): one is to strengthen the dominant university based system of ITE, whereas the other is to promote a greater deregulation and privatization with shorter teacher training routes taking place mainly in schools. The former has been the prevailing strategy in Norway during the past years, as opposed to earlier ITE, which was shorter and more practice based (Brekke, 2010). From 2017 ITE in Norway will be taught at masters’ level (MA), expanding from four to five years. In 2010 UiT The Arctic University of Norway (UiT), piloted a five-year long research-based MA program in teacher education (Pilot in North, PiN), divided into two programs adjusted to the Norwegian educational system: 1st – 7th and 5th – 10th grade. The first 61 students graduated in thespring of2015. A main focus of PiN is that research orientation and research knowledge can serve to support teachers’ professional skills, and develop their abilities to make conscious use of adequate analytical tools in de-constructing problems and re-constructing solutions in their daily work. The vision of PiN is to cultivate a teacher identity imprinted by an inquiring attitude to teaching.
The purpose of the RELEMAST project (Relevant Master Education for Teachers) is to investigate how these teachers experience practicing their profession in schools. The study is part of a longitudinal research project, illuminating the teachers’ professional development at the beginning of their careers, and the sustainability and development of their knowledge from ITE. Based on data from this first and the two following cohorts, the aim of the study is to investigate early career teachers’ (ECT) experiences of research-based teacher education in relation to the reality they meet early in their career. The main research questions of the RELEMAST study is:
- How do ECTs experience the reception by the professional community of their research-based knowledge from ITE?
- How do ECTs’ professional competence develop early in the career?
The purpose of this paper is to examine how the first MA students’ experience the transition from study to work related to the knowledge base and competence they have developed. The question we will discuss is: How does recognition of the early career teachers’ (ECT) competence at the first workplace influence the transition from study to work?
To be accepted as teachers is crucial for ECTs’ identities. Building on Honneth’s work, Huttunen & Heikkinen (2004) discuss the meaning of recognition in educational practice. They are presenting two circles of recognition. The positive circle is developed through reciprocal recognition, which means that the persons respect each other’s skills and abilities. The negative circle means that the persons downplay each other. This proves difficult for new teachers. The ECTs enter their workplace as strangers and have the outsider’s perspective, a kind of objectivity. There are aspects of the person, the situation and the organization, which are challenging for the ECTs as well as for the school (Jakhelln 2014). The transfer of knowledge from ITE requires translation competence (Jakhelln 2014, Røvik 2014). An important question is to what extent the early career results in a gliding transition from study to work or a transformation (Mezirow, 1991) of the ECTs’ growing teacher identity.
Brekke, M. (2010). Dannelse i skole og lærerutdanning. (Education in School and Initial Teacher Education). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. Eraut, M. (1994). Developing professional knowledge and competence. London: Falmer Press. Eraut, M. (2004). Informal learning in the workplace. Studies in Continuing Education, Vol. 26(2), 247-273. Huttunen & Heikkinen (2004). Teaching and the dialectic of recognition. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 12(2), 163-174. Jakhelln, R. (2014). Øyet som ser. Om den nye læreren som idebærer og fremmed. (The observing eye. On the early career teacher as carrier of ideas and as stranger). In Røvik, K.A, Eilertsen, T.V., & Furu E.M. (eds.): Reformideer i norsk skole. Spredning, oversettelse og implementering. (Reform ideas in the Norwegian school. Dissemination, translation and implementation). Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk, pp. 230-253. Jakhelln, R., Bjørndal, K. & Stølen, G. (2016). Masteroppgaven – relevant for grunnskolelæreren? (The Master’s Thesis – of relevance for the primary school teacher?) Acta Didactica Norge. 10(2), 193-211. Kvale, S. & Brinkmann, S. (2015). InterViews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research Interviewing (3rd edition). Los Angeles: Sage Publications. Mezirow, J. (1991). Transformative Dimensions of Adult Learning. San Fransisco: Jossey-Bass. Røvik, K.A, Eilertsen, T.V., Furu, E.M. (eds.) (2014): Reformideer i norsk skole. Spredning, oversettelse og implementering. (Reform ideas in the Norwegian school. Dissemination, translation and implementation). Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk. Zeichner, K. (2014). “The Struggle for the Soul of Teaching and Teacher Education in the USA”. Journal of Education for Teaching, 40(5), 551–568.
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