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Induction and Mentoring Project

Introduction

The Teachers Registration Board of South Australia has commenced a 12 month Induction and Mentoring Project that aims to collect and review information on best practice induction and mentoring. The project will focus on quality induction and mentoring that is available to provisionally registered teachers in South Australia and will make recommendations to assist provisionally registered teachers to transition to (full) registration in a timely manner.

As a consequence of the national consistency for registration requirements agreed to by the Education Council in 2011, provisionally registered teachers are required to move to (full) registration within two terms (i.e. six years) of being granted initial registration in South Australia. 

To move to (full) registration, provisionally registered teachers must have taught for at least 200 days in Australia or New Zealand and been evaluated as meeting the Proficient Standard of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers  (APSTs).

The Board has been actively encouraging and supporting provisionally registered teachers to move to (full) registration as soon as possible after meeting the requirements so there is no need to wait until renewal of registration. Further information on moving to (full) registration is available here.   

Supportive induction and mentoring of early career teachers allows them to meet the Proficient Standards as soon as possible and commence the transition process to (full) registration upon meeting the 200 days teaching practice requirement.   

Background

Current global findings indicate that 40-50% of teachers leave the teaching profession within the first five years (Ingersoll, 2003). A major factor in successfully retaining early career teachers in the profession is the provision of supportive induction and mentoring.

The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) differentiates between induction and practice-focused mentoring as:

Induction refers to a formal program and other support provided to assist early career teachers who have achieved the Graduate career stage in the Standards to move to the Proficient career stage – to learn, practise and refine the elements of the professional role that are best acquired while teaching.

Mentoring is a strong professional relationship that attends to the professional development of early career teachers through ongoing observation, conversations, evidence about and assessment of practices, goal-setting aligned with standards of quality teaching, and technical and emotional support.

So, induction is a process while mentoring is one of many actions that may be implemented to initiate and nurture early career teachers into the profession.

Further AITSL information on induction can be found here.

Project Design

The Board's Induction and Mentoring project aims to explore the following three research questions:

  1. What constitutes ‘quality’ induction and mentoring’ generally?
  2. What constitutes quality induction and mentoring as teachers move from provisional to (full) registration?
  3. What does quality induction and mentoring look like in relation to the different cohorts of registered teachers in South Australia?

To explore these questions, the project comprises three phases.

Phase 1
Conduct a review of both national and international literature to identify the key components comprising ‘quality’ processes in relation to the induction and mentoring of beginning teachers.

Phase 2
Complete an environmental scan of the current induction and mentoring practices available for teachers holding provisional registration in South Australia.

Phase 3
Identify high-quality instances of induction and mentoring of teachers with provisional registration in South Australia to ensure that these cases are representative of the early childhood services, primary and secondary schools.

Stakeholder Engagement

To assist in identifying high-quality cases of induction and mentoring the Board will engage with stakeholders through reference groups, focus groups, and individual stakeholder representative meetings. Stakeholders include teachers, school/site leaders, employers, unions and professional associations.

Clearly, teachers are fundamental participants in this project. Focus group interviews, to engage teachers who have recently transitioned to (full) registration and who are considered to have experienced ‘quality’ induction and mentoring, will be conducted across metropolitan and regional South Australia in early 2017.

The mentors for these teachers will also be invited to share their details and insights regarding the process and mechanisms used to support the provisionally registered teachers.

If you have recently undertaken, or are currently involved in, a supportive induction and/or mentoring process to enable your transition to (full) registration we are keen to hear your story. We would like to engage both mentees and mentors in the project.       

Associate Professor Debra Panizzon is the Project Consultant. If you would like to be involved in this exciting initiative please contact her via email, debra.panizzon@trb.sa.edu.au or phone, (08) 8226 5977.