Immigrant teachers in Australia: experiences of differential adaptation

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The transnational movement of teachers has affected the education environment worldwide. Using a qualitative approach and conceptualising immigrant adaptation based on the differential adaptation theory, we examine the adaptation experiences of immigrant teachers in Australia. Our findings revealed that immigrant teachers’ professional identity, the tension experienced in the adaptation process, and their sense of belonging are critical constructs that contributed to their differential adaptation experiences. Drawing on these findings, we theorise immigrant teachers’ professional adaptation by presenting eight possible modes to explain immigrant teachers’ experience trajectories through various combinations of these critical constructs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-256
Number of pages18
JournalCambridge Journal of Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • differential adaptation
  • Immigrant/migrant teachers
  • professional identity
  • sense of belonging

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