Investigating Our Practices

Novice teachers and diverse learners Whalen, Catherine 2011

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Novice Teachers AndDiverse LearnersDr. Catherine Whalen(whalen.catherinea@gmail.com)Research RationaleIncreased diversity in schoolsChallenges associated with a diverse student population  Pre-service teacher preparation for the range of diversity present in our education systemRelevance of continued professional development and mentorship for novice teachersResearch QuestionWhat is the experience of novice teachers who teach secondary school students with diverse learning needs?Motivation and philosophical viewPre-service teacher preparation Mentorship and support networkIn-service professional developmentEmployment opportunities Daily experiences MethodologyPhenomenological ResearchParticipant lived experiences through:Participant InterviewsParticipant Journal Entries Researcher Field Notes  Data AnalysisEmerging ThemesTeacher MotivationHiring ProcessesPre-service Teacher PreparationDefining and Understanding Novice Teachers: Advocate Role and ProfessionalismMentorship, Support, and Continued Professional DevelopmentOne Size–Fits-All Education ModelResearch FindingsLimited training and exposure to diverse learnersThe advocate role proved to be contentious leading to segregation, isolation and marginalization by colleaguesLimited and unequal access to in-service professional development opportunities were, for the most part, irrelevant The one-size-fits-all education model does not work for diverse learnersResearch ImplicationsEnhance pre-service teacher preparation to meet academic, social, emotional and behavioural needs of diverse learners Veteran teacher perceptions regarding the novice teacher advocate role impacts success for all Limited access to in-service mentorship and professional development limits the opportunity to develop effective teachers Concerns regarding district hiring practices for classrooms with a high concentration of diverse learnersRecommendationsExposure and awareness of cultural and racial issues through course work  Opportunities to observe and work with diverse learners in practicum experiencesAccess to relevant in-service professional developmentTime and resources allocated to a novice teacher mentorship program 

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