Date of Award

2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School Of Education

Faculty

Education And Arts

First Advisor

Assoc. Prof. Carmel Maloney

Second Advisor

Dr. Graeme Lock

Abstract

The changing nature of teaching has led to an increased focus on the retention and productive engagement of teachers in the classrooms. The ongoing implementation of educational change, accompanied by an ageing trend amongst teachers and rising incidences of teacher attrition, stress and burnout, highlights the importance of teachers being sustained in their profession. Furthermore, recognition of the value of early childhood education has drawn attention to early childhood teachers' abilities to be sustained in their teaching practice, effectively engaging students in the learning process. Acknowledging these issues, this study examined factors that influence early childhood classroom teachers' sustainment in the profession and in teaching. Conducted in the northern metropolitan teaching districts of Perth, Western Australia, this study utilized qualitative methodology in two phases of data collection: open-ended surveys and focus group discussions with 57 early childhood teachers, and case studies, compiled from in-depth interviews with six experienced early childhood teachers who had taught more than 20 years in the classroom. Data was analysed to identify key factors impacting on early childhood teachers staying committed and productively engaged in the profession and in the craft of teaching.

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