To teach or not to teach?: being a newly qualified teacher in the post-compulsory sector during 2000-2004

Matthews, Lynnette (2013) To teach or not to teach?: being a newly qualified teacher in the post-compulsory sector during 2000-2004. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This was a mixed-method study investigating factors which might affect newly-qualified teachers’ continued motivation to teach in the post-compulsory sector during the period 2000-2004. It aimed to identify the nature of demotivators and to measure the extent and impact of these on intentions to remain in teaching.

Research would suggest that nation states’ changes to the management of education to address the challenges of globalisation have caused tension between teachers’ motivation to teach and outside interference to control the process of teaching. Consequently, retaining teachers in both the compulsory and post-compulsory sectors is a significant concern, not only in the UK but internationally. However, despite being described as ‘pivotal’ to government objectives of social justice and economic success, the post-compulsory sector has tended to be under-researched. Although studies have explored the impact of New Public Management and Incorporation on the working conditions for experienced teachers and investigated trainees’ perceptions of the sector, there appeared to be a gap in the research focussing on newly-qualified teachers (NQTs) during this time. It is hoped that this research will contribute to this body of literature.

This was an exploratory study followed by a confirmatory enquiry and was conducted in two phases. A qualitative approach was adopted for the first phase to re-interrogate data collected for a MA in Research Methods. Data collected from NQTs using focus groups and reflective essays written as part of the assessment for their initial teacher training course, was re-interrogated to identify the nature of demotivators in the sector. The subsequent findings informed the second phase and the design of a survey instrument to investigate the prevalence of these demotivators and the impact of these on intentions to continue teaching with a much larger sample of NQTs. Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory (1959) and Deci and Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory (1975, 1985, 1992, 2000) formed the theoretical framework for this investigation.

Ten higher education institutions from the East Midlands, Yorkshire, South-West and South-East of England, who had delivered training provision to meet the standards of the Further Education National Training Organisation since their introduction (FENTO, 1999), assisted in this project by forwarding the instrument to 2,235 NQTs. The survey was self-administered and 308 completed questionnaires were returned (13.8% return rate).

Research would suggest that the first three to four years after training will determine whether teachers stay in the profession; it is hoped that the findings will highlight factors responsible for the fragility of a long-term teaching career in this sector.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Wallis, J.V.
Keywords: Post-compulsory education, college teachers, job satisfaction
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher education
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 13691
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2014 08:00
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 03:50

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