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DOI

10.14221/ajte.2013v38n4.5

Abstract

Early career teaching is a difficult phase to navigate with many newly qualified teachers choosing to leave the profession within the first few years. The professional identities of these and other teachers are shaped by challenging and unanticipated experiences. The schools where this teaching takes place also have profound influence on these teachers’ individual responses to their new roles. This paper reports on how the contexts and professional environments of fourteen early career teachers contributed to the establishment of three distinct trajectories of teacher identity: the emergent, tenuous and distressed. An examination of their developing identities revealed the influential experiences and individual responses that were connected to how the novice teachers understood and explained themselves with and through influential others. These descriptions and representations of themselves shaped their future actions and evolving beliefs. These were then implicated in their identity trajectories, which in turn contributed to their professional traction or early exit from the profession.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

10.14221/ajte.2013v38n4.5