Positive veteran teachers: Who are they, and where are they to be found?
Geoffrey Lowe, Christina Gray, Peter Prout, Sarah Jefferson
Edith Cowan University, Australia
Telethon Institute and The University of Western Australia
Teacher career trajectory studies have identified a small group of veteran teachers who remain positive and committed to teaching, while others become disenchanted or disengaged. These, and related studies suggest key characteristics of positive veteran teachers revolve around a strong sense of agency and professional identity including: 1) a continuing desire to experiment and embrace challenges; 2) high levels of personal comfort in their teaching roles; and 3) a willingness to take on leadership roles across a range of capacities and contexts, and in turn be affirmed in these roles. While studies describe these characteristics, there has been little attempt utilise them as the basis for constructs in the formal identification of these teachers, and in turn examine where these teachers are to be found in education systems. This article reports on a study in Australia which sought to utilise the characteristics to identify positive veteran teachers within a larger cohort, and examine demographic information surrounding them. Reported demographics include gender, location (city / country), age and school type (primary / secondary / K-12). The ability to identify these teachers and where they are to be found may help educational authorities understand and promote conditions in which more veteran teachers are able to sustain their passion and commitment to the job.
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|Authors: Dr Geoffrey Lowe (corresponding author) is a former secondary school music teacher, and is now Senior Lecturer in Education within the School of Education at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. His research interests include music education in secondary schools, student motivation, and more recently teacher efficacy.|
Dr Christina Gray is a former secondary drama teacher and now the Coordinator of Dance and Drama Education (Secondary) with the School of Education at Edith Cowan University, Western Australia. Christina's research interests include: drama and Arts education in secondary schools; teacher education and the practicum; teacher beliefs, portraiture and narrative methodologies.
Dr Peter Prout's current passion and interest centres around 21st C teachers being highly skilled as reflective professionals who are committed to leading their students away from ignorance and towards high personal standards of intellect and social and community behaviour and leadership.
Ms Sarah Jefferson is a former Head of English and Literacy Co-ordinator. She is currently a Unit Coordinator for the Master of Teaching Secondary at Edith Cowan University. Sarah's current research is examining the positive coping strategies of veteran West Australian teachers.
Dr Thérèse Shaw, Telethon Institute and University of Western Australia, is a statistician with over 20 years' research experience, in particular in school-based health promotion research. Her expertise lies in study design, instrument development and testing, intervention implementation measurement and statistical evaluations of intervention trials.
Please cite as: Lowe, G., Gray, C., Prout, P., Jefferson, S. & Shaw, T. (2019). Positive veteran teachers: Who are they, and where are they to be found? Issues in Educational Research, 29(3), 823-840. http://www.iier.org.au/iier29/lowe.pdf