Transitions into the teaching profession: 'Do I stay or do I go?'

Megan Adams, Sindu George, Paul Swan, Rebecca Cooper, Angela Fitzgerald, Richard Gunstone

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


    One decade ago, the OECD (2011) reported the supply and demand of teachers world-wide is of growing concern. In 2021, it seems the situation has not improved as both globally and locally, retaining graduate teachers in the profession continues to be of concern. Estimates indicate that in Australia, up to 20% of preservice teachers (PSTs) do not enter the profession (Weldon et al, 2015) and between 8-30% of graduate teachers leave the profession within the first five years (Weldon, 2018). The personal and national financial cost of educating PSTs who do not either take up the profession or leave shortly after they enter, cannot be underestimated. There is a growing need to better understand the current trends as to why some PSTs are not entering the profession and graduate teachers are not remaining in the profession to inform future innovations and development in Initial Teacher Education courses (ITE).

    Education is a demanding and complex profession - with technological advances, increasing government and parental input, low wages, and the global/local uptake of inclusive education policies. It is well documented in international and national literature that a major area of concern for PSTs entering the profession is working with students displaying challenging behaviours in classrooms. The symposium examines different perspectives of professional practice in relation to PSTs as they enter classrooms. We begin by presenting the findings of a systematic literature review (2014-2020) regarding PSTs and graduate teachers working with students in classrooms displaying challenging behaviours. In the second paper a cultural-historical approach (Vygotsky, 1987; Edwards, 2017), to preservice teachers understanding of the educational context and ways their Master of Teaching degree has positioned their learning, development and whether or not they feel ready to enter the profession is examined. Finally, we present the findings of a focus interview with principals leading ‘schools of choice’ or ‘alternative schools’ and their expectations and concerns about hiring PSTs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages3
    Publication statusPublished - 2021
    EventAustralian Teacher Education Association Conference 2021 - Brisbane, Australia
    Duration: 7 Jul 20219 Jul 2021


    ConferenceAustralian Teacher Education Association Conference 2021
    Abbreviated titleATEA 2021
    Internet address


    • teaching profession
    • PST retention
    • attrition
    • classroom management
    • challenging behaviours

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