Entering the classroom for the first time is both an exciting and challenging experience for beginning teachers. Effective induction can ease this transition as well as help strengthen a beginning teacher’s impact on students. Induction plays a critical role in building on the knowledge and skills developed through initial teacher education as well as providing the support needed for beginning teachers as they embark on a new phase of their career.
A comprehensive and sustained process of guidance and support provides beginning teachers with the foundation for, and connection to, career-long professional growth.
The induction phase of a teacher’s career builds on formal initial teacher education programs including:
introduction to the school community and working culture
- the teaching environment and conditions particular to the context of the school
- enhancement and application of pedagogy developed through initial teacher education
- development of an individual’s professional identity
- the building of personal resilience skills.
What are we doing?
AITSL has developed national guidelines for teacher induction. The Graduate to Proficient: Australian guidelines for teacher induction into the profession were agreed by all Education Ministers in July 2016.
The development of the national induction guidelines builds on work started by AITSL in 2013 to investigate ways of creating smoother transitions into the profession through treating initial teacher education and induction as a distinctive phase in a teacher’s career. AITSL has commissioned and developed research into effective induction approaches and conducted scans of current and innovative induction practices to guide schools and systems in improving the experience for beginning teachers.
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Why a focus on the induction of beginning teachers?
In their report Action Now: Classroom Ready Teachers, the Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group identified that countries that have implemented effective induction processes see it as part of a wider culture of responsibility to the profession and a focus on continuous professional learning. Within these international models, there is a reciprocity of learning that sees induction not only benefit the beginning teacher, but also contribute to the ongoing learning and development of the mentor teachers with whom they collaborate.
Alongside the development of a culture of continuous learning and improvement within a school, effective induction should also enable beginning teachers to collect compelling evidence about their professional practice. A portfolio of evidence supports beginning teachers to chart their knowledge, growth and impact, and demonstrate achievement of the Proficient career stage of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers in order to gain full registration.
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What will the outcome be?
A nationally consistent approach to induction will ensure that beginning teachers are better supported when they enter the school and the classroom for the first time. Guidelines for induction will also help ensure that teachers are retained for longer through providing a comprehensive process that is focused on continuous learning, growth and improvement of both beginning teachers and their mentors.