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 Jul 2019 | National
Why are Australian teachers under so much strain? News Image

An Aussie study has found that teachers are living with unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety. Is there a conflict between our changing expectations of education and the current classroom format? Read More

18 Jul 2019 | National
Education a bright spot in slowing jobs market News Image

It’s mid-year and it’s always a quiet time before the madness leading up to Christmas, job market activity is usually slower than usual and most states are recording declines in job ad numbers, that is unless you’re in education. Read More

18 Jul 2019 | Qld
Books in Homes supporting literacy in eight regional Queensland schools News Image

The Books in Homes Program will continue in north west Queensland for another five years with Glencore extending its support by funding eight primary schools in the region. Read More

18 Jul 2019 | National
How Australian graduates can succeed in today’s job market News Image

Making the transition from education to work is a tough one, but it’s easier with a plan and skills that employers are demanding, tech skills are important but so are soft skills and an ability to keep learning. Read More

18 Jul 2019 | National
50,000 kids coding to celebrate 50th moon landing anniversary News Image

Moonhack 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing and will see students take part in a space-themed coding exercise to build a space-themed game. Read More