Teacher transition between year levels: an argument for professional learning

Tracey Carlyon, Garry Falloon

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    All teachers require professional learning throughout their careers to ensure they are effective practitioners. However, debate exists about the nature of professional learning for teachers and how and when it should occur. This article reports outcomes from a doctoral study that explored the impact that transitioning between year levels had on teachers’ professional learning. While it is common for teachers to move within their school to teach at different levels, this is usually done for organisational reasons. The study was conducted in New Zealand and focussed specifically on teachers transitioning between year levels 1-8. It used a combination of survey and qualitative data methods to explore teachers’ views relating to transition, and its impact on their professional learning. Findings suggest that transition can have a significant impact on teachers’ professional learning and is an opportunity for effective professional growth through which teachers can strengthen their practice and pedagogy. However, findings also highlight that teachers are not always aware of the benefits of transition and many do not perceive transition as an opportunity for learning. Thus it is important that school leaders look for opportunities for teachers to transition between year levels, and provide the learning and organisational supports to enable them to become effective practitioners in the new learning context.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)23-28
    Number of pages6
    JournalSet : research information for teachers
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2017


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