Mid-Career professionals in STEM transiting to school teaching : barriers at the border

Watters, James J. & Diezmann, Carmel M. (2012) Mid-Career professionals in STEM transiting to school teaching : barriers at the border. In STEM 2012, 24-27 November 2012, Beijing, China.

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In many countries there is a shortage of quality teachers in areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Additional to the low levels of recruitment is an extraordinary high attrition rate with some 50% of beginning teachers leaving the profession within five years. One solution implemented in several countries has been to encourage mid-career professionals in the area of STEM to become school teachers. These professionals are said to bring to teaching enthusiasm, knowledge and a passion for their subject which will impact engagement and learning by students. However, these career-changers have constructed professional identities and are accustomed to working within a culture of collaboration and inquiry. In contrast, school cultures are quite different and often teaching is a lonely solitary affair with little opportunity for collegial relationships aimed at knowledge building in the context of teaching. Crossing from a culture of STEM to a culture of schools and teaching can be challenging. This study was conducted with 13 teachers who were followed for three years. However, this paper reports on the experiences of one teacher with an engineering background crossing the boundaries from practising STEM to Teaching STEM.

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ID Code: 59041
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: This research was supported by the Australian Research Council grant DP0984349: The role of subject-matter knowledge in teaching science and mathematics: Practices of teachers with advanced qualifications in the sciences.
Keywords: Beginning teachers, career-change teachers, teacher professional identity, School culture, Subject-matter knowledge, Science teachers, Mathematics teachers, STEM, Science teaching
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Secondary Education (130106)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > CURRICULUM AND PEDAGOGY (130200) > Science Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy (130212)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
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Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 J. J. Watters & C. M. Diezmann
Deposited On: 10 Apr 2013 23:03
Last Modified: 17 May 2013 00:10

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