Institutes for Educational Research
School of Education / Edith Cowan Institute for Education Research
Teacher career trajectory studies have identified a small group of veteran teachers who remain positive and committed to teaching, while others become disenchanted or disengaged. These, and related studies suggest key characteristics of positive veteran teachers revolve around a strong sense of agency and professional identity including: 1) a continuing desire to experiment and embrace challenges; 2) high levels of personal comfort in their teaching roles; and 3) a willingness to take on leadership roles across a range of capacities and contexts, and in turn be affirmed in these roles. While studies describe these characteristics, there has been little attempt utilise them as the basis for constructs in the formal identification of these teachers, and in turn examine where these teachers are to be found in education systems. This article reports on a study in Australia which sought to utilise the characteristics to identify positive veteran teachers within a larger cohort, and examine demographic information surrounding them. Reported demographics include gender, location (city / country), age and school type (primary / secondary / K-12). The ability to identify these teachers and where they are to be found may help educational authorities understand and promote conditions in which more veteran teachers are able to sustain their passion and commitment to the job.
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