Preparing BTchLn (Primary) Graduating-Year Students for the Beginning-Teacher Employment Process: A Case Study
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Teaching and Learning
This study explores one aspect of the professional preparation of students graduating from teacher education institutions. A case study of one of the University of Canterbury College of Education’s initial teacher education programmes (the BTchLn (Primary) qualification) is the focus for this study. The purpose of the study is to illustrate what school employers from the Canterbury region, and BTchLn (Primary) graduates and teacher educators from the University of Canterbury, consider as important practices when preparing graduating-year students for the beginning-teacher employment process. This study addresses the lack of systematic research into the employment of beginning teachers within a New Zealand setting.
The study employs a case study approach and involves two stages of data gathering. Quantitative data is collected in Stage One to identify potential participants for the case study. More substantive qualitative data are collected in Stage Two through semi-structured interviews conducted with samples of school principals, graduates and initial teacher education lecturers from the Canterbury region.
The findings suggest that the decentralised system of employment in operation in New Zealand has made the employment process complex for teachers entering the profession because schools have developed their own individual practices and preferences in the employment-related area and advertise their beginning-teacher positions while students are still completing their programme of study. The findings also suggest that lecturers at the University of Canterbury perform an important and valued function when they prepare their graduating-year students for employment, although there are both strengths and weaknesses in their current employment-related programme and practices. This case study will inform course and qualification reviews planned at the University of Canterbury, and will be of interest to other teacher education organisations in New Zealand that prepare their graduating-year students for employment.