01 SES 16 A, Ecosystems of Teacher Development Part 2
Symposium continued from 01 SES 14 A, to be continued in 01 SES 17 A
The project has established cooperation with a Danish municipality on developing a context-sensitive teacher induction program aiming at supporting newly qualified teachers. The implementation is taking place at 4 different levels: framing of content and resources at central level, developing mentor competences, describing and implementing strategy at school level, individual mentor - mentee cooperation. Interpreting each of these as organisms in Bronfenbrenner´s hierarchy of systems makes it possible to understand and express their interactions in terms of ecosystems of learning. Our methodological approach is design-based-research and we have identified the DBR four-phase cycle at each level. Our presentation will focus on following research question: What challenges can be identified along with developing and implementing teacher induction program in a Danish municipality? It is our aim in a perspective of ecosystems of learning to unfold challenges in making the different systems playing together in a sustainable way i.e. contributing now and in future to newly qualified teachers’ foothold and professional development. In Denmark, it is expected that NQTs from day one are able to carry out skilled teaching - being a professional teachers. In contrary to many other European countries, Denmark has no national policy concerning induction programs for NQTs. In a recent Danish survey, it appears that a quarter of the NQTs doubt whether they have a future in public school. The NQTs do not feel sufficiently supported by colleagues and school management and call for support from experienced teachers for implementing and developing their teaching. It is left to local levels - i.e. municipalities and schools (and teacher-educations) - to take responsibility for fulfilling the defined measures. Central authorities have put in place means to monitor and evaluate. Consequently, the support for newly qualified teachers is very arbitrary and appears different from municipality to municipality and even from school to school. As municipalities quite rare choose to form policies on teacher induction for its schools, it is left to the local principals to decide about teacher induction giving large variation in quality. Almost half of the NQTs experience lack of structure and framing regarding their induction. Correspondingly, a similar proportion reported that school management “not at all” or “to a less extent” took steps to establish mentoring and guiding during their first year.
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