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This paper claims that well informed and engaged school leaders turn the implications of out-of-field teaching practices into positive challenges. Teachers teaching outside their fields of qualification or expertise influence the quality of teaching and learning. A phenomenological approach moves beyond existing statistics on the out-of-field phenomenon towards an in-depth understanding of the lifeworld of teachers in these positions. Through various lenses of educational directors, principals, specialists, out-of-field teachers and parents, the paper examines unsettling truths about the pressures surrounding the out-of-field phenomenon. The findings offer evidence of the transformation school leaders can bring about. The paper asserts that an in-depth understanding of the phenomenon influences school leaders’ decisions. Identification of tension between lived experiences and leaders’ perceptions inform recommendations.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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