01 SES 16 C, Exploring the Issue of Second Career Teacher Retention: Toward an Integrative Approach
Teacher shortage is a recurrent topic addressed by researchers and policymakers (Troesh & Bauer, 2017). In order to tackle this shortage, the past decade has been marked by reflections on second career teachers’ recruitment (Berger & D’Ascoli, 2012). Since they are seen as a solution to the growing shortage of teachers, many studies have looked at their motivation to join the teaching profession (Anthony & Ord, 2008). In doing so, the focus is mainly on their attraction and recruitment, leaving aside the issue of their retention (Haim & Amdur, 2016). However, there is evidence in the literature that the attrition rate is particularly high among second career teachers (Redding & Smith, 2016) showing that they are two times more likely to leave the profession than first career teachers during their first years as teachers. The purpose of this paper is to address the lack of knowledge about the issue of their retention. We pursue the objective of better understanding the process of professional integration of second career teachers by postulating that it is necessary to take into account the specific context of the workplace they enter. To do so, we take an organizational perspective. In this sense, we explore second career teachers’ entry into the teaching profession as a work socialization process (Chao, 2012) and we use the theoretical lens of social capital (Bourdieu, 1980) to highlight how the professional network in which they evolve may impact their socialization. This paper is based on a mixed-methods social network approach and combines qualitative interpretation and quantitative analysis of whole TVET-schools social network (N=2), and qualitative semi-structured interviews with novice second career teachers (N=5). Results show that TVET-schools are departmentalized organizations in which second career teachers are relegated to the periphery of the school network. Consequently, novice second career teachers have fewer opportunities to have professional interactions and to collaborate with colleagues than first-career teachers. They have less support from peers than first-career teachers and they report that they feel isolated and not really part of the organization. This study argues for the strengthening of professional networks in TVET-schools and the provision of more opportunities for novice second career teachers to become part of the social fabric of the school.
Troesch, L. M., & Bauer, C. E. (2017). Second career teachers: Job satisfaction, job stress, and the role of self-efficacy. Teaching and Teacher Education, 67, 389–398. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2017.07.006 Berger, J. L., & D’Ascoli, Y. (2012). Becoming a VET teacher as a second career: Investigating the determinants of career choice and their relation to perceptions about prior occupation. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 40(3), 317–341. https://doi.org/10.1080/1359866X.2012.700046 Haim, O., & Amdur, L. (2016). Teacher perspectives on their alternative fast-track induction. Teaching Education, 27(4), 343–370. https://doi.org/10.1080/10476210.2016.1145204 Redding, C., & Smith, T. M. (2016). Easy in, Easy out: Are Alternatively Certified Teachers Turning Over at Increased Rates? American Educational Research Journal, 53(4), 1086–1125. https://doi.org/10.3102/0002831216653206 Anthony, G., & Ord, K. (2008). Change-of-career secondary teachers: Motivations, expectations and intentions. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 36(4), 359–376. https://doi.org/10.1080/13598660802395865 Chao, G. T. (2012). Organizational Socialization: Background, Basics, and a Blueprint for Adjustment at Work. In The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Psychology (Vol. 1, Issue April 2018). https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199928309.013.0018 Bourdieu, P. (1980). Le capital social. Actes de La Recherche En Sciences Sociales, N° 31(1), 2–3. https://doi.org/10.3917/idee.169.0063
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