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Turning to Teaching – The Commitment of Teachers with Previous Careers In Times of Teacher Work Intensification

SUGDEN, RICHARD (2013) Turning to Teaching – The Commitment of Teachers with Previous Careers In Times of Teacher Work Intensification. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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In the last twenty five years, primary schools in England have been the subject of widespread, well-documented reform, with issues of intensification affecting the working lives of teachers. This, along with other pressures, has led to concerns over issues of teacher retention and recruitment. As a response, there has been a rise in Alternative Certification Programmes (ACPs) which offer flexible methods of entry into teaching, attracting those with previous work experience. These are the so-called second career teachers. Previous studies have proposed that their commitment to their new profession may take a unique form. High levels of commitment are needed to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing educational environment.

The aim of this study is to examine the commitment of primary second career teachers in times of work intensification.
The study proposed research questions dealing with the work experiences and lives of the teachers, their definition of commitment, and the factors that affect it. A mixed-method approach was used with a survey administered to twenty-four second career teachers in one local education authority area in England. Twelve extended interviews were carried to examine commitment and intensification.

The primary second career teachers in the study were found to have a wide range of previous working experience with one-third being ex-teaching assistants. The study proposed a classification of the change-event of the second career teacher; this was found to be broadly linked to their definition of commitment. Proximal factors were found to affect commitment in a positive way, and government policy in a negative direction. Commitment was shown to be generally static and not affected by age, but by career stage, confirming previous research. Issues of intensification and its time-effects were noted in responses.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Keywords:second career teachers, career change, intensification, commitment, primary schools
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 May 2014 12:31

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