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DOI

10.14221/ajte.2009v34n6.6

Abstract

A former head of the American Federation of Teachers, Albert Shanker, once called out-of-field teaching education’s “dirty little secret” (Ingersoll, 2003, p. 5). The practice of allowing or assigning teachers to teach subjects or year levels for which they do not have any formal qualifications has lead to considerable debate within the educational community. Such concerns over the possible negative impact of out-of-field teaching on students, teachers and the broader school community led the Western Australian College of Teaching (WACOT) to commission an exploratory empirical study of the extent of the phenomenon in Western Australia. This paper presents the main findings from the empirical study and literature review and seeks to contribute to a greater understanding of the extent, causes, impact and possible solutions to the phenomenon of out of-field teaching.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.14221/ajte.2009v34n6.6