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Using workplace learning theory to understand novice teacher experience Steven Hodge and Lauri Grace.

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1 Using workplace learning theory to understand novice teacher experience Steven Hodge and Lauri Grace

2 Research on novice teacher experience Influential constructs: Transfer of knowledge (e.g. Robert Glaser) Reflective practice (e.g. Donald Schön) Enculturation (e.g. Sharon Feiman-Nemser) Socialisation (e.g. Kenneth Zeichner)

3 Workplace learning theory (take 1) Paul Hager’s (2011) typology: Influenced by psychological theories (e.g. Schön 1983, Marsick & Watkins 1990) Socio-cultural theories (e.g. Lave & Wenger 1991, Fuller & Unwin 2003) Post-modern theories (e.g. Edwards & Nicoll 2004, Fenwick 2009)

4 Teachers as workplace learners Existing research: Heather Hodkinson Phil Hodkinson Alison Fox, Elaine Wilson, Rosemary Deaney

5 Workplace learning theory (take 2) Stephen Billett Doesn’t fit cleanly into Hager’s typology Draws on socio-cultural concepts Stresses subjectivity, self and personal agency in workplace learning Relational nature of workplace learning: the social and the individual

6 Conceptualisation of our project

7 Conducting our project 15 participants drawn from a one-year pre- service program (Graduate Diploma) Interviewed in first term of graduate year Interviewed in final term of graduate year: Their teaching work Influences on their teaching Influences on other teachers and school

8 Findings 1 Dual spheres of practice Staffroom: ‘in the staffroom we’d talk about our students’, ‘as teachers we’re always asking each other for help…leaning on each other’ Classroom: ‘I am free to teach the way I want to in there’, ‘I don’t like a lot of the curriculum here…in the classroom I can pick and choose what I want to do’

9 Findings 2 Resistance In staffroom and other community contexts novice teachers do not feel confident about criticising practices (‘I’ve decided to lay low this year’) In classroom, participants are selective about how they interact with restrictions (‘I can pick and choose’)

10 Findings 3 Convergence vs. divergence of spheres of practice: Convergence: residential and remote schools, expansive environments, particular curriculum models, time Divergence: Casual teaching, specialist teaching, larger schools, school architecture

11 Findings 4 Strongest influences on personal practice: Their own experiences as a school student Selected teachers in the workplace Their students, through formal feedback, informal discussion and observation of responses to teaching practice

12 Findings 5 Strongest influence on collaborative practice Informal groupings and events Difficult students and classes Amount of time spent together

13 Findings 6 Role of pre-service education: Most participants said the program hasn’t influenced their teaching (‘I can’t remember that course anymore’) or they are not clear how (‘I’m sure [the program] formed more of a basis than I realise’) Graduates with previous teaching experience valued the program highly

14 Where to next? Explore the role of students in teacher workplace learning Students were consistently identified as a source of workplace learning Students were identified as one way novice teachers learnt about other teachers’ practices and the main way their own teaching was revealed to other teachers

15 Where to next? Explore relationships between personal and collaborative practices over time Participants consistently represented established teachers as sharing a common practice and themselves as doing something unique

16 Questions? Suggestions?

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