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Newly qualified teachers’ support needs in developing professional competences: the principal’s viewpoint

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This study investigates principals’ viewpoints on the support needs of newly qualified teachers. As pedagogic leaders, principals play a central role in organizing support activities for new teachers at local level and can offer insights into new teachers’ situation and support needs. On that basis, the authors investigated how Finnish principals (N = 104) prioritized and described the support needs of newly qualified teachers. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire that included both closed and open-ended questions. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and principal component analysis, and responses to open-ended question were analyzed using deductive content analysis. The study revealed that new teachers need particular support in working outside the classroom, cooperating with parents and colleagues and enhancing holistic support for students. The results contribute to knowledge of salient issues in planning and organizing school-based support for new teachers, as well as in initial teacher education.
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Keywords: Newly qualified teachers; lifelong learning; principals; professional development; teacher competences

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

Publication date: January 1, 2020

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