10 SES 02 A, Becoming a Teacher
This study considers the resilience and wellbeing of preservice teachers in their first year at university. It is important for two reasons. First, the transition period into university is recognised as a challenging time for many students (Alderson, Hall & Latreille, 2014). Second, in many developed countries including Norway and Australia, teachers are facing increasing pressures in the classroom that affects their wellbeing (Olsen, 2017). For example, the growing economic crisis in Europe (European Commission, 2013), and the growing tail of disadvantage in Australia (ACOSS, 2014) are placing demands on classroom teachers likely to increase personal stress. Therefore, preparing teachers who understand how to recognise, harness and support their own resilience during teacher training is vital.
During the transition into university, many students face challenges related to time management, self-discipline, accessing and managing paid employment, navigating institutional systems, financial issues, and balancing family and personal commitments. Returning to study after a period of time in the workforce can also raise concerns with regard to changes in power relationship and identity. Navigating these challenge can lead to new insight, knowledge and competence to help cope with new demands in the future (Keller- Schneider, 2014). Therefore, rather than being seen as a negative construct, the challenges encountered during the transition phase of university life can be utilised to facilitate the development of resilience.
Resilience has not been well defined in the literature and can be interpreted differently across disciplines. Previously considered an innate, fixed quality, resilience is now considered to be something that can be developed over time. Resilience theory (Fregean & Leier, 2016) suggests resilience develops when adverse situations are resolved by utilising personal or contextual resources. Family support, relationships and a strong sense of self, can act as protective factors. Resilient traits such as social competence, problem solving skills, autonomy or sense of purpose are then able to flourish (Gonzales, 2003).
Within teacher education, developing resilience is considered essential as a means of managing the broad complexities of working in the profession. Teaching involves the capacity to deal simultaneously with a range of personalities, roles, responsibilities, social, political and personal expectations. Commitment, professional growth and individual wellbeing can be enhanced or eroded in this context. Therefore resilience can be considered as a capacity, process or outcome (Mansfield, 2016)
Reflection and reflective practice
Reflection and reflective practice is crucial skill for teachers (Loughran, 2014; Ryan, 2011) because it provides a protective layer of resilience (Moffat, Ryan & Barton, 2015) Without regular reflection teachers are at greater risk of emotional fatigue and burnout highlighting the importance of teaching refection processes during teacher education (Chang, 2009; Skovholt & Trotter-Mathison, 2011). However, Korthagen (2017) notes reflection is not taught well during preservice teacher education. In addition, Leitch (2006) suggests that reflective processes that rely on words alone can reduce people’s expression of emotions to a lower level than what might be possible via other modes such as through image, sound and/or gesture.
McNiff (2008), and Liamputtong and Rumbold (2008), contend that creative approaches to reflection allow deeper insights to emerge unexpectedly in one’s thoughts. Similarly, Leitch’s (2006) study showed that creating images in relation to one’s self had the potential to open thinking to previously unconscious thoughts that could lead to new ways of thinking and doing. Furthermore, subconscious thought which can be important in self-care (Moffatt et al., 2015) is stimulated by the use of creative expression (Croft, 2015).
Reflection, stimulated by creative approaches, could be a useful tool to support teacher education students to build resilience required to navigate their transition into university and later in their careers.
A phenomenological case study approach was used to explore the perspectives of four mature-aged female, preservice teachers enrolled in the first year of a Bachelor of Education degree. Phenomenology “illuminates a phenomenon from the perspectives of those experiencing it” (Fregeau & Leire, 2016, p. 65). The phenomenon being examined is how these preservice teachers perceive their resilience in the first year of their study. Two research questions guide this study. They are: 1. How do mature age students experience the first year of university in teacher education? 2. What personal resources and strategies do mature age students identify in themselves that support their own wellbeing during the transition into university? The four female participants are in a similar age demographic (30-40 years of age), each with family responsibilities. To comply with ethical clearance, data was collected during the second half of the first year of the program once the lead researcher had competed teaching responsibilities with the students. Data for each participant included collage (My resilient self) and deconstruction, photo elicitations (How I see myself as a teacher), emotion continua with written reflections (What challenges and enablers have you encountered in the first year? How did you respond?), construction of masks (Inner side- Represent the teacher you want to be; Outside- represent the enablers and blockers to being that person), semi-structured focus group interview, personal emails and a researcher diary. Data were collected during workshop activities held at various intervals throughout the second half of the year. Seven workshops were held in total. Six of those workshops ranged from one to two hours and a final workshop was held over a full day. The author conducted the analysis using a constant comparison method (Thomas, 2011). With this method of analysis, the researcher and an assistant combed the data several times to fully analyse emerging themes. The case notes prepared using each participants’ data were shared with that participant for verification that their perceptions had been captured correctly. This also provided a second opportunity to capture further detail about transition to university life. Data were analysed using Mansfield’s (2012) four dimensions of teacher resilience: social dimension (builds networks, seeks help, builds relationships and takes advice); motivational dimension (persists, improvement focus, motivation, confident); professional/related dimension (solves problems, organised, flexible/adaptive, reflective); and emotional dimension (cares for own wellbeing; manages emotions, copes with stress, positive/optimistic)
Analysis revealed the workshop provided the students with a strong social connection to the researcher and each other. The workshops also allowed the researcher to develop a personal connection with the participants and enabled a deeper understanding of the lived experience of university life to emerge. The social network acted as a study support group providing support at a cognitive level in terms of assignments but also at an emotional level when allocated grades did not meet expectations. While students were highly motivated with a strong thirst for knowledge, the high expectations they held of themselves and others were unrealistic at times and they placed unnecessary pressure on themselves, which threatened their emotional wellbeing. This affective element was particularly evident during the focus group interviews. The participants generally tried to remain positive and optimistic, but at times they adopted a negative mindset because of high workloads, frustrating interactions with other students and staff, and attempting to meet their inflated personal expectations, A variety of resource was used at these times. Social networks became increasingly important for academic and emotional support. Despite realising they functioned more efficiently as a parent and students when they took time out for themselves some students found relinquishing control, lowering self-expectations and putting themselves first difficult to do. Students reported the data collection methods and meeting times were particularly helpful in supporting reflection processes in a non-threatening setting.
ACOSS. (2014). Poverty Australia. Retrieved from www.acoss.org.au/poverty/ Alderson, D., Hall, C., Latreille, P., (2014). Transition and the First Year Experience: University Students' Expectations. Journal of Education, 17(1), 73-87. Chang, M. L. (2009). An appraisal perspective of teacher burnout: Examining the emotional work of teachers. Educational Psychology Review, 2, 193–218. Croft, M. (2015). Visualised and spoken-through: An artist’s reflective comment on his practice. Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives, 16, 595–608. doi:10.1080/14623943.2015. 1064381 European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice. (2013). Funding of Education in Europe 2000-2012: The Impact of the Economic Crisis. Eurydice Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European. http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/education/eurydice/documents/thematic_reports/147EN.pdf Fregeau, L. & Leire, R. (2016). Two Latina Teachers: Culture, Success, Higher Education. Taboo, 61-78. Gonzales, J. (2003). Cesar Chavez: A case study of a resilient child’s adaptation into adulthood. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED47) Skovholt, T. M., & Trotter-Mathison, M. (2011). The resilient practitioner: Burnout prevention and self-care strategies for counselors, therapists, teachers, and health professionals, second edition. (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis. DOI: 10.4324/9780203893326 Keller-Schneider, M. (2014). Self-regulated learning in teacher education. The significance of individual resources and learning behaviour. Australian Journal of Educational & Developmental Psychology,14, 144-158. Korthagen, F. (2017). Inconvenient truths about teacher learning: towards professional development 3.0, Teachers and Teaching, 23(4), 387-405, DOI:10.1080/13540602.2016.1211523 Liamputtong, P., & Rumbold, J. (2008). Knowing differently: Arts-based and collaborative research methods. New York, USA: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. Mansfield, C.F. Beltman, S. Price, A. and McConney, A. (2012) Don't sweat the small stuff: Understanding teacher resilience at the chalkface. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(3), 357-367. Mansfield, C. F., Beltman, S., Broadley, T., & Weatherby-Fell, N. (2016). Building resilience in teacher education: An evidenced informed framework. Teaching and Teacher Education, 54, 77-87. McNiff, (2008). Arts-based research. In G. Knowles, & A. Cole (Eds.). Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research, (pp. 29-42), Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications. Moffatt, A., Ryan, M., & Barton, G. M. (2016). Reflexivity and self-care for creative facilitators: Stepping outside the circle. Studies in Continuing Education 38(1), 1-18. DOI: 10.1080/0158037X.2015.1005067 Olsen, S. (2017). How can a focus on teacher well-being in pre-service training promote the resilience of primary school student teachers? Journal of the European Teacher Education Network, 12, 118-125. Ryan, M. E. (2011). Improving reflective writing in higher education: A social semiotic perspective. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(1), pp. 99-111.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.