Building professional learning identities: beginning teachers’ perceptions of causality for professional highs and lows

Larsen, Ellen and Allen, Jeanne M. (2016) Building professional learning identities: beginning teachers’ perceptions of causality for professional highs and lows. In: Teacher education: innovation, intervention and impact. Springer, Sydney, Australia, pp. 231-251. ISBN 978-981-10-0784-2

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The transition from pre-service to beginning teaching has been well documented as complex and challenging, with novice teachers shown to experience a number of professional highs and lows as they progress through their first year of teaching. As they reflect on their early experiences, beginning teachers establish perceptions of causality that influence their sense of professional agency, self-efficacy and motivation. This type of attributional thinking can have a strong impact on their ongoing development as teachers. In this chapter, which reports on the first phase of a larger mixed methods study, we discuss the influence of attributional thinking on the development of beginning teachers’ professional learning identities. The use of an online survey, which drew from a sample of 57 beginning teachers working in independent schools across Queensland, sought to identify the ways in which participants attributed causality (that is, why things happened the way they did) for their professional highs and lows during their first year of teaching. The study found that, when attributing causality for success, participants were most likely to identify their own
practice as an enduring cause for this and similar future successes. They were also likely to attribute the cause of events perceived as unsuccessful to their own practice. Notably, this study found that beginning teachers apportioned high shared levels of control of causes for both successful and unsuccessful events with others in their working contexts, such as their
colleagues and mentors. This study raises significant questions as to how attributional thinking, engaged during reflective practice, impacts the development of the professional learning identities of beginning teachers.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted Version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The accepted version of this chapter, as supplied here, differs in title from the Published version, as cited in this record.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Teacher Education and Early Childhood
Date Deposited: 15 May 2017 23:46
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2017 04:17
Uncontrolled Keywords: beginning teachers; causality
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130313 Teacher Education and Professional Development of Educators
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/978-981-10-0785-9_14

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