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Lessons Learned from Novice Teachers

An International Perspective

Kari Smith, Marit Ulvik and Ingrid Helleve

The transition from being a student teacher to taking on the full responsibility as a teacher is experienced as challenging for many novice teachers. In this book, ten newly qualified teachers from five countries, Australia, England, Finland, Israel and Norway, tell their stories. What can we learn from listening to the narratives? What can we bring to decision-makers about how to support new teachers? Do new teachers face similar challenges around the world, or do experiences depend on their respective contexts? We found more similarities than differences.

Relevant research literature is used in discussing the cases. Much of the literature on novice teachers focuses on difficulties, and the stories presented in this book confirm that the first year is tough. However, the resilience, motivation and enthusiasm reflected in the stories provide reasons for optimism as regards teachers’ satisfaction with their career choice.

A major reason for deciding to stay in the profession is in the relations they created with the students. Satisfaction or stress related to the curriculum or achievements in their respective teaching subjects was not mentioned. The lessons learned from the ten novice teachers are useful when discussing the teaching profession, and not least, the induction phase of a teaching career.

Politics of Education in Latin America

Reforms, Resistance and Persistence

Edited by Carlos Ornelas

Politics of Education in Latin America: Reforms, Resistance and Persistence portrays complex situations of education change policies in Latin America from Argentina and Chile, the southernmost part of the continent, to Mexico, the northernmost. The analyses tour through Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, and Cuba to conclude with a chapter that scrutinizes why the big teacher unions reject most attempts at education reforms. In these, teachers are the target of criticism and, at the same time, the focus of the expectations for progress and better educational quality.

Readers will find a variety of contentious issues such as inclusion, equity, privatization, uses of power, and dialectics between the indications of intergovernmental organizations and the rejection of their recommendations by local political actors. They will also find narratives to raise public education participation, improve the quality of life of teachers, and put local education systems to dialogue with the global world. The politics of education in Latin America is a territory that groups and institutions continue to dispute since the establishment of their education systems.

PISA and Global Education Policy

Understanding Finland’s Success and Influence

Series:

Jennifer Chung

PISA and Global Education Policy: Understanding Finland's Success and Influence provides an in-depth investigation for the reasons behind Finland’s success in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Finland’s high performances in every administration of PISA since 2000 have captured worldwide attention. This volume offers a comprehensive exploration into the context of Finland, uncovering its historical, cultural, political, and societal nuances. Furthermore, it delves into the history of Finnish education, providing a strong foundation from which to view the system that produced so much success in PISA. The book analyses empirical data from Finnish professors of education, ministers of education, head teachers, and teachers for the reasons behind Finland’s consistently high outcomes in the survey. It includes viewpoints from OECD officers with direct responsibility for PISA. In addition, it uncovers the impact of Finnish influence on education policy worldwide. Thus, the text presents an analysis of the growing politicisation of international achievement studies such as PISA. The increasingly globalised educational context surrounding PISA calls for an analysis of policy transfer and the already-apparent uncritical policy borrowing of Finnish education policy within the UK context.

Children and Mother Nature

Storytelling for a Glocalized Environmental Pedagogy

Edited by Rouhollah Aghasaleh

It is an old, yet relevant, argument that education needs to focus more on real-world issues in students’ lives and communities. Nevertheless, conventional school curricula in many countries create superficial boundaries to separate natural and social worlds. A call for science learning approaches that acknowledge societal standpoints accumulate that human activities are driving environmental and evolutionary change which has lead scholars to investigate how different societies respond to environmental change.

Children and Mother Nature is a multilingual volume that represents indigenous knowledges from various ethnic, linguistic, geographical, and national groups of educators and students through storytelling. Authors have identified indigenous stories, fables, and folk tales with a theme of human-nature interaction and facilitated storytelling sessions with groups of students in K–8 grade (5–14 years old) in Turkey, Greece, US, Jamaica, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and Chinese and Korean language speaking communities in the US. Students have discussed and rewritten/retold the stories collaboratively and illustrated their own stories. All student-told stories are presented in the original language along with an English translation. This volume provides authentic materials for teachers to use in their classrooms and could also be of interest to educational, literary, and environmental researchers to conduct comparative and international studies.