01 SES 16 C, Exploring the Issue of Second Career Teacher Retention: Toward an Integrative Approach
There is a growing need for VET teachers and at the same time a high rate of drop-out among second career teachers. Regarding this retention issue, this contribution analyzes which professional development strategies lead to higher retention rates among beginning second career teachers. Additionally to analyze their development in the first teaching career phase, we also address their motivations to become VET teachers. Both are considered important conditions for retention. A mixed-method qualitative research design is used, including interviews, ‘learner reports’, and focus groups. 12 starting second career teachers were followed for 2 years. The first interviews focused on motives for changing career. Learner reports and additional interviews explored their professional development process. The theoretical framework builds with regard to the teacher choice model on Watt & Richardson (2007), Berger & D’Ascoli (2012), Berger & Girardet (2015), Tigchelaar et al (2008), Low et al (2017). Professional development is based on Billett (2001) (Agency and Affordances), Blokhuis (2006), Timmermans (2012) and Van Veldhuizen (2011). Results indicate that second career VET teachers choose the teaching profession because they see it as a rewarding career, consider the ‘return on investment’ a risk worth taking, want to develop themselves, and see teaching as a different profession compared with their ‘old job’. Professional development in the first years is influenced by the Dutch context e.g. system and team-level. Contextual conditions are illustrated as far as they influence entry, development, and retention. Results indicate that most second career teachers start their teaching career without pre-service training. They have the obligation to qualify as a teacher (pedagogical and didactical skills criteria) within the first two years. Although on a meso-level the policy is to provide every starting second career teacher with a peer / a buddy it is often not the case or difficult to arrange proper conditions (time, appointments). The complexity of the student population has grown over time, so there is a need for pedagogical and didactical skills. The workload is a felt burden and the assignment of tasks is not transparent. Another example of a contextual condition is the policy dynamics. To solve teacher shortage, it is getting common convincing companies to stimulate their employees to consider a part-time position as VET teacher.
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. Berger, J.-L., & Girardet, C. (2015). The determinants of VET educators’ occupational choice. Education + Training, 57(1), 108-126. Billett, S. (2001b). Learning through work: workplace affordances and individual engagement. Journal of Workplace Learning, 13(5), 209-214. Blokhuis, F. T. L. (2006). Evidence based design of workplace learning. Dissertatie. Universiteit Twente, Enschede. Low, E., Ng, P., Hui, C., & Cai, L. (2017). Teaching as a Career Choice: Triggers and Drivers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 42(2). Tigchelaar, A., Brouwer, N., & Korthagen, F. (2008). Crossing horizons: Continuity and change during second-career teachers’ entry into teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24 (6), 1530-1550. Timmermans, M., (2012). Kwaliteit van de opleidingsschool. Over Affordance, Agency en Competentieontwikkeling. (Phd). Tilburg University Van Veldhuizen, B., (2011). Werkend Leren, Lerend Werken, Professionele ontwikkeling van docenten in persoonlijk en organisatieperspectief, (Phd). Utrecht University Watt, H., Richardson, P. (2007). Motivational Factors Influencing Teaching as a Career Choice- Development and Validation of the FIT-Choice Scale. The Journal of Experimental Education, 75(3), 167 – 202.
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