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Professional lives in transition: overseas trained teachers in England

Miller, Paul (2006) Professional lives in transition: overseas trained teachers in England. Caribbean Journal of Education, 28 (2). ISSN 0376-7701

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This paper discusses initial findings on teacher identity as perceived and discussed by six participants: three overseas trained teachers (OTTs), one secondary headteacher, one local authority director, and one senior policy officer in the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) who is a qualitative researcher at a prestigious London university. Through systematic reflection, each individual explores the potential gains which accrue to
OTTs as part of their teaching experiences in England in order to make sense of their “new” emerging teacher identities.

Major themes which have emerged from the research include
the admission that through their teaching experiences in England, OTTs increase their skills, competences, subject knowledge, and awareness of SEN/EAL issues, thereby enabling
improvement in their practice. Greater access to continuing professional development has also been signaled as a potential gain. However, interview evidence has also suggested that OTTs do suffer damaged psyche, impaired self-esteem, and in some cases become worse off financially.
Significant factors such as initial induction and support for qualified teacher status (QTS) that enable or hinder the construction of a “new” professional teacher identity have been discussed with participants, even as we concede that becoming a career teacher in England is both a challenge and a triumph for an OTT. Initial interpretation of collective and individual reflections has suggested that tensions during initial teacher induction require careful examination in order to promote professional learning.

Assumptions about a definitive UK teacher identity as shown in a set of uniform standards of practice need to be consciously informed, since OTTs are expected to immerse themselves in the teaching profession in England with efficacy and professionalism.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Schools: School of Education and Professional Development
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 06 May 2010 10:44
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2018 18:16


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