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Perceptions of pysical education beginning teachers' first year of teaching: are we doing enough to prevent early attrition?

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This article examines beginning teachers' perceptions of how their school experiences during their first year of teaching had helped them to develop as teachers. Thirty-three physical education teachers responded to a questionnaire that focused on their school backgrounds, the problems and constraints encountered during the year, factors they saw as important in their development, what they saw as the value of collegial advice, their objectives and strategies, and how they would advise future teachers. There were indications that many had moved beyond the â–˜survivalâ–™ stage of teaching and were actively developing their pedagogical skills and focusing on pupils' learning outcomes. However, the personal nature of the beginning teachers' experiences (e.g. school placements, personal biographies) suggests that impressions about teaching could range from those of disillusionment to those of optimism, and that the type of support provided in schools would not necessarily underpin their beliefs about teaching or extend them professionally. Although the impact of this first year of teaching on their future careers cannot be assessed at this stage, it would appear that more needs to be done in a structured way to try and address the individualised nature of those experiences, and to build on their early enthusiasm and pedagogical skills if teaching is going to viewed as a long-term commitment.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Loughborough University, United Kingdom

Publication date: March 1, 1999

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