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Schools as professional learning communities for early career teachers: how do early-career teachers rate them?

Susan Lovett and Marie Cameron

For teachers, the early years in the profession are critical for developing the knowledge and skills of an expert teacher. The 'Teachers of Promise' study examines the experiences of 57 registered teachers who began their employment in New Zealand primary and secondary schools in 2003. The purpose of this article is to examine the extent to which schools employing these teachers are able to enhance the professional learning of their newest members. The article explores the relationship between new teachers and professional learning. Vignettes drawn from the everyday experiences of five teachers new to the profession point to conditions that appear to sustain and/or frustrate teachers in the early years of their teaching careers. The vignettes suggest that the dream of positioning schools as learning communities for students and teachers alike remains far from a reality.

Article in Teacher Development, 15(1), 87-104.

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Susan Lovett