01 SES 10 A, Symposium: Research on Practices of Teacher Induction, Part 1
The need to support new teachers is a global challenge. However, there seems to be various understandings of what teacher induction is about. In this symposium, various ways of organizing support in the induction phase are studied as ‘practices of induction’ in a European and a global perspective. Our research question is: how are the practices of teacher induction constituted in European countries? In this symposium, this question is examined through theoretical and empirical studies. The theoretical background is based on the work of Professor Stephen Kemmis and his colleagues in Charles Sturt University, Australia. Kemmis is one of the key scholars in developing a theory of practice, along with an American sociologist Theodore Schatzki (2002; 2005; 2010). Within the theory of ‘practice architectures’, developed by Kemmis and his research group, we may understand teacher induction as practices which are constituted within more comprehensive metapractices. The practices are constituted through ‘practice architectures’ (Kemmis, Edwards-Groves, Wilkinson & Hardy 2012; Kemmis & Grootenboer 2008) in which (1.) activities are distributed among participants and in activity systems or networks (in physical space-time), (2.) knowledge is distributed among participants and in different discourses (in semantic space), and (3.) participants and participation are distributed in particular kinds of relationships to one another (and to other objects) in social space. All educational practices ‘hang together’ (1.) through practical arrangements, (2.) through discourses (3.) and through relations between individuals, groups and institutions. In this symposium, teacher induction is studied as practices. There are given practices of teacher induction in every country which are formed through certain ways of (1.) ‘doing’ concrete things in the physical space-time; through arrangements, activities and actions. The practices are also constituted through (2.) ‘sayings’; conceptualizing what is done and what should be done so that the participants of the discourse can understand each other; e.g. “mentoring”, “tutoring”, “internship”, “coaching”, “peer support” etc. All this takes place in a social setting where the people and organisations involved in education (3.) relate to each other. In induction phase, the relationships between teacher education, school administration and trade union are constituted in particular ways in every country. We may also study practices of teacher induction as ‘ecologies of practices’. Within this framework, we study practices of teacher induction by analogy with ecosystems, following principles which are derived from ecology.
This symposium consists of two sessions. The first session is contributed by researchers from Charles Sturt University in Australia and participants of NQT-COME (Supporting Newly Qualified Teachers through Collaborative Mentoring) from Northern Europe. The first presentation will introduce the practice theory developed by Stephen Kemmis and his colleagues, applied to teacher induction. The following presentations will empirically study the practices of teacher induction from different perspectives in the European countries. The second paper will introduce practices of mentoring in Estonia, Finland and Norway. The third presentation will focus on practices of mentor training in Finland.
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