Promoting early career teacher resilience: A framework for understanding and acting
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Education
In this paper, we undertake a brief review of the conventional research into the problems of early career teachers to create a juxtaposed position from which to launch an alternative approach based on resilience theory. We outline four reasons why a new contextualised, social theory of resilience has the potential to open up the field of research into the professional lives of teachers and to produce new insights into the social, cultural and political dynamics at work within and beyond schools. We then move from these theoretical considerations to explain how we used them in a recent Australian research project that examined the experiences of 60 graduate teachers during their first year of teaching. This work led to the development of a Framework of Conditions Supporting Early Career Teacher Resilience which we outline, promote and advocate as the basis for action to better sustain our graduate teachers in their first few years of teaching. Finally, we reflect on the value of our work so far and outline our practical plans to mobilise this knowledge in ways that will make it available to a variety of audiences concerned with the welfare of this group of teachers.