Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore how the induction of new teachers might be regarded as a form of apprenticeship in which informal support (on-the-job learning) plays an important role alongside formal continuing professional learning (off-the-job learning). The sample teachers are part of the Teacher Induction Scheme in Scotland which provides a reduced teaching workload during the induction year so that new teachers have time to develop their practice through continuing professional learning and development activities.
Design/methodology/approach - A sequential mixed methods study with two online questionnaires sent to 167 new teachers and two sets of semi-structured interviews with ten new teachers.
Findings - The findings highlight the importance of a reduction in teaching hours and the significance of informal learning for new teachers. Furthermore, while an induction scheme framework with reduced workload is important, new teachers need supportive colleagues to learn from and with during their first year of teaching.
Research limitations/implications - This study only involved new teachers who had completed their initial teacher education at one Scottish university.
Practical implications -
Originality/value - The work provides a deeper understanding of the nature of informal learning, often characteristic of the apprenticeship model, in the context of a formal induction scheme. It highlights that more than a formal induction scheme on its own is needed to support teachers in their transition from student teacher to qualified teacher. The paper draws attention to the need for policy makers, local authorities and schools to be more supportive and responsive to the learning and development needs of new teachers when implementing an induction scheme for new entrants.
- teacher induction
- graduate apprenticeship
- informal learning
- on-the-job learning
- off-the-job learning
- professional learning
- continuing professional development