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Previous research indicates that beginning teachers are not fully prepared for what awaits them in the workforce. This study highlights the value of partnerships among higher education providers, schools and employers and links the experiences of beginning teachers to initial teacher education (ITE). Real-life experiences from the field provide information regarding beginning teachers’ complex teaching positions that is beneficial to prospective teachers and teacher educators. This transnational qualitative study, completed in Norway, South Africa and Australia, adopted a Vygotskian social constructivist theoretical stance. Gadamer’s hermeneutic philosophy was applied to offer an in-depth understanding of the effects of classroom experiences on beginning teachers’ professional identities and feelings of ‘belonging’ and ‘at homeness’ in their positions. The results of this study highlight the school leaders’ perceptions of how well graduate teachers are prepared to meet the demands of the workforce. The study concludes by demonstrating the value of linking beginning teachers’ experiences to interventions and the development of ITE programmes. This study’s evidence-based findings support its recommendations for policy-makers and its reflections on the link between ITE and employment.


Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education

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Journal Article

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