Menu

Education Today Logo


newsletter

Education Today Cover Browse Issue

Five years for teachers to feel confident

News Image

To stop early career teachers from exiting the profession, support in the first five years of work is essential with a study finding Victorian teachers gained confidence by the end of that period after struggling with confidence issues initially.

Dr Sindu George of Monash University who led a study on the area, says that teachers’ self-efficacy – their confidence in their professional skills – has a strong influence on job satisfaction, student engagement and workplace achievement. 

Importantly, it affects whether they remain teachers, at a time when burnout is common and nearly 40% of teachers in Australia quit the profession within their initial five years.

“Common problems reported by early career teachers include classroom management, student motivation, classroom resources, curriculum changes, organization of classwork, and excessive work demands,” said Dr George.

Her study showed that after five years in the profession, the 74 participants’ self-efficacy in classroom management, instructional strategies, and student engagement had all risen significantly, regardless of gender, secondary or primary positions or working in the public or private sector.

The study included a mix of teachers from Government, Catholic, and Independent schools, and surveyed them in their first year in the workplace, then five years later.

“Teachers who hold high self-efficacy are likely to adopt more student-centred than teacher-centred approaches, to develop new approaches and strategies for teaching, promote student autonomy, and cater to students’ individual differences.

“Given that the initial years seem critical for the development of teachers’ self-efficacies, professional development programs need to be implemented early. Once self-efficacy is consolidated, it could be resistant to change, even if teachers are exposed to workshops and new teaching methods.”

An earlier study in Australia by her co-authors (Prof Helen Watt & Prof Paul Richardson), released in 2010, showed that self-efficacy changed differently for different types of teachers.

The most positive, idealistic type showed declines in all measured areas of self-efficacy. The authors attributed this to “the high idealistic motivations this group of teachers held at the outset of their career, which may have been difficult to achieve during early years”, and caution against “one size fits all” approaches.


19 Sep 2018 | National
Uni courses for the most profitable career News Image

The more things change the more they don’t, especially when it comes to graduate earning potential says the Grattan Institute’s Mapping Australian Higher Education report. Read More

18 Sep 2018
The Territory Government reinvigorates school-based policing News Image

The Territory Government has reinvigorated school-based policing aiming to address issues raised during the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. Read More

18 Sep 2018 | Melbourne
25 years of the Educational Publishing Awards of Australia News Image

The combined efforts of educators and educational publishers will be celebrated in the 25th Educational Publishing Awards of Australia on Thursday 20 September 2018. Read More

18 Sep 2018 | National
Secret ATAR report ordered destroyed News Image

A secret report showing that students with low ATAR scores are being recruited into Initial Teacher Education (ITE) was reportedly ordered destroyed by the University of Sydney. Read More

18 Sep 2018 | NZ
Matific helps to incorporate Te Reo Māori in New Zealand Schools News Image

Matific, the game-based maths learning resource, will assist New Zealand to incorporate the Te Reo Māori language into their maths curriculum via a translation of its online program. Read More