Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Dan O'Sullivan, Paul F. Conway
Irish Educational Studies
Underwhelmed and playing it safe: newly qualified primary teachers’ mentoring and probationary-related experiences during induction
Optional Fields
newly qualified teacher (NQT); induction; mentoring; probation; primary
Framed within the burgeoning policy and research literature on teacher induction internationally, this paper focuses on the mentoring and probationary-related experiences of nine newly qualified primary teachers in the Republic of Ireland, during the course of their initial year of workplace practice, post-graduation. Gleaning newly qualified teachers’ (NQTs’) perspectives on these matters is opportune, as the Teaching Council’s new model of induction entitled Droichead (bridge in Irish) is envisaged to become the sole induction and probation route for all NQTs. Transacted during the 2010/2011 school year, when the induction and probationary arrangements in place were those that the Droichead initiative is intended to replace, a three-cycle, individual interview design facilitated continuing contact with each NQT. Selected, representative interview data are utilised to illustrate the dynamics of NQTs’ experiences of mentoring and probationary-related processes. Empirically based findings establish, firstly, beginner complicity in the transaction of narrowly conceived mentoring support; secondly, enamorment of the reifications of initial teacher education-phase teaching practice when negotiating probationary processes; thirdly, the valuing of techniques that respond to immediate, probationary-related requirements over more complex forms of practice; and fourthly, the inevitable and essential interconnectedness of mentoring and probationary processes. The paper concludes with implications for the design and implementation of induction programmes.
Grant Details