Beginning teachers’ perceptions of their tertiary education preparedness for teaching
Hudson, S & Hudson, P 2006, 'Beginning teachers’ perceptions of their tertiary education preparedness for teaching', paper presented to the Australian Teachers Education Association (ATEA) Conference, Fremantle, WA, 5-8 July.
Retention rates and stress levels of early-career teachers are of concern (Williams, 2002), as is the relevance of preservice teacher preparation courses (Ramsey, 2000). Hence, reviews of Australian teacher education continue with calls for national enquiries that aim at devising more effective tertiary education programs (Green & Reid, 2004; Landers, 2005). This qualitative, year-long study gathered data through email correspondence and telephone interviews on eight first-year beginning teachers’ perceptions of their tertiary preparation for teaching. Data indicated that although they felt "Organising a classroom", "Relating to students", "Understanding duty of care", "Planning and implementing a program", and "Teaching across six key learning areas" were well covered in their tertiary programs, "Catering for individual differences", "Employing a range of teaching strategies", "Relating to parents" and taking on leadership roles appeared to be insufficiently addressed. There appears a need to provide connections between tertiary education preparation for real-world contexts by facilitating diverse experiences in rural schools and more emphasis on the practical aspects of teaching during tertiary education programs. These programs must reflect the needs of beginning teachers with research informing the decision-making processes for devising more relevant preservice education courses.