The First Three Years: Experiences of Early Career Teachers



Fenwick A (2011) The First Three Years: Experiences of Early Career Teachers. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 17 (3), pp. 325-343.

This study considers two discourses of current relevance to national and international educators - early professional learning (EPL) and curriculum change. Induction arrangements for early career teachers (ECTs), EPL and informal learning have received considerable attention in the past few years. Changes to induction inevitably have knock‐on consequences for EPL and beginning teacher development. The study examines the transition period between induction and post‐induction for ECTs. Curriculum change is a universal theme in education and the responsibility of all teachers. Data are presented regarding ECTs' perceived experiences relating to enabling and constraining EPL influences and curriculum change. Qualitative semi‐structured interview data were collected from 14 early career secondary geography teachers in Scotland as they reflected on their first three years of teaching. Their collective accounts provide a window into their first three years of teaching. Findings suggest that the professional relationships forged within schools, especially at departmental level, and during continuing professional development are major factors in enabling or constraining ECTs' EPL and in shaping their attitudes and engagement with curricular change. Suggestions for policy are discussed and recommendations for future research suggested.

early professional learning; early career teachers; curriculum change; Scottish education

Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice: Volume 17, Issue 3

Publication date30/06/2011
Publication date online2011
Date accepted by journal26/06/2010
PublisherTaylor and Francis

People (1)


Mrs Ashley Fenwick

Mrs Ashley Fenwick

Teaching Fellow, Education