n Education as Change - New teachers in a pseudocommunity of practitioners

Volume 12, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1682-3206
  • E-ISSN: 1947-9417
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This article gives a glimpse of the lifeworld of newly qualified teachers as they are introduced to the workplace. The inquiry that is reported was conducted on the premise that new teachers are especially vulnerable to attrition pressures. A case study research design was used to study a group of ten new teachers in a single school environment. Components of cultural-historical and activity theory (CHAT) were employed as theoretical framework for this research, focusing on the tensions between the teachers and their new practitioner 'community', which was found to be a "pseudocommunity". The analysis of the data showed that novice teachers felt that they were not readily accepted in the professional 'community' of the school. The nature of micro socio-political relations within the school as institution and the positioning of novices within hierarchical structures inhibited their interaction with other teachers and contributed to their isolation. The authors conclude that new teachers are disempowered in the face of the lack of professional community values.

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