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Teacher Attrition, Retention and Mobility: Where Does Australian Stand?

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The teaching workforce is in a constant state of change, susceptible to fluctuating federal and state governments, policy directions within the various bureaucracies that control the curriculum, teachers’ accreditation and certification requirements and universities that regulate entry into initial teacher education programs, and eventually the profession. This has never been more apparent in Australia than in the current climate with major changes in the nationalization of the curriculum, teacher accreditation, and new tests in literacy and numeracy for students in initial teacher education programs. Where does all this leave the teaching workforce? Using evidence from the Australian government, recent research regarding teacher attrition in Australia, and world-wide trends in teacher mobility, this article seeks to clarify where Australia stands in the debate. While focused on Australia, the evidence presented illustrates problems faced by many OECD countries whose current struggles with education have been widely reported. This article attempts to shed light on where Australia is heading with regard to the sustainability of the teaching workforce; however, the implications of these sustainability issues and the possible solutions are widely relevant.

Keywords: Australia; initial teacher education; teacher attrition; teacher burnout

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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  • Education and Society provides a forum, where teachers and scholars throughout the world, are able to evaluate current issues and problems in education and society from a balanced and comparative social, cultural and economic perspective.

    Education and Society, a fully refereed journal, is used by teachers, academics, research scholars, educational administrators and graduate students.
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