The «New» Foundations of Teacher Education – A Reader – Revised edition
Edited By Eleanor Blair
4. Learning to Teach and Teaching to Learn: Supporting the Development of New Social Justice Educators
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Learning to Teach and Teaching to Learn
Supporting the Development of New Social Justice Educators
Beginning teachers are more likely to leave the profession than seasoned counterparts; 14 percent of new teachers leave after their first year, 33 percent leave within three years, and almost 50 percent leave in five years (Alliance for Quality Education, 2004). Research on teacher attrition shows many educators who are part of this “revolving door” (Ingersoll, 2001) are “service oriented” and “idealistic” teachers (Miech & Elder, 1996). These teachers enter the profession to “mak[e] a difference” and contribute to positive change in society. The constraints they face within public schools, however, make it difficult to realize their idealism, leading to attrition. With fewer teachers in the field teaching from this perspective to serve as mentors, how can emerging teachers, dedicated to social justice education (SJE), find the support needed to develop as professionals and remain in the field?
This study explored the role that participating in a critical inquiry project (CIP) played on the development of new educators who aspire to teach from a social justice perspective. The study also examined how relationships between the first and second-year teacher participants shaped their development as social justice educators, learners, and leaders. Findings contribute to understanding two areas: new teacher induction and peer and near-peer mentorship. Unlike most new teacher support groups, CIP was...
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