9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN10 Sociology of Education

2009-09-05 13:30:00 2009-09-05 15:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 13:30 - 15:00 Special Purposes / Teachers I Building I, 2E8

The induction phase in teacher´s careers in Flandres

In our societies the profession of teacher tends to become more important. As a consequence, how to attract and retain teachers became the focus of inquiry in recent research. These studies tended to gather useful information on teachers´ social-economic characteristics, time spending, work satisfaction, however, the singularity, appeal and shortcomings of the profession can only be detected by comparing teachers with other occupations. This research wants to fill the hiatus and compare the socio-graphic characteristics and careers of teachers with those of other occupational groups by analysing existing cross-sectional and longitudinal data, and by means of focus group interviews with teachers and ex-teachers.

Making the move from teacher education to actual professional practice is difficult for many teachers and often of great influence on the next career stages. Although many scholars refer to the disillusionment teachers experience as a (praxis)shock, the term, strictly taken, doesn´t cover the entire reality of a beginning teacher. More then a one-time confrontation, the entrance of beginning teachers in everyday teaching practice is a long learning and adaptation process with both actors and organizational structure influencing and changing each other.

Several factors will be explored that contribute to the so-called harsh entry into the teaching profession. In the first part we will focus on both the objective and subjective job-insecurity. As previous research has shown, one of the biggest attractions of the educational sector in Flanders is the fact that teachers can get appointed for life after a minimum of three years working experience. This means that the first three years teachers face a certain degree of work- and income insecurity. We want to know if they experience significantly more or less job-insecurity than their peers in other occupations. In the consecutive part of the paper four factors are distinguished (PCA): problems with teaching, school culture, authority and work pressure. Graduates who always worked as teacher after graduation, those who first worked somewhere else but then entered the teaching profession, and teachers that left the profession will be compared on these factors.