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Early field experiences
Ng, P. T., Lim, K. M., Low, E. L., & Hui, C. (2018). Provision of early field experiences for teacher candidates in Singapore and how it can contribute to teacher resilience and retention. Teacher Development, 22(5), 632-650. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13664530.2018.1484388
Singapore is noted for its low teacher attrition rate, while teacher retention continues to be a pressing issue for many countries. Drawing on the experiences of student teachers in the sole institute for pre-service teacher education in Singapore, this paper argues for the importance of exposing teacher candidates to a lengthy period of school experience as part of the teacher selection process. Before they are officially enrolled into pre-service teacher education, the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Singapore requires all teacher candidates for the Postgraduate Diploma of Education programmes to go through compulsory school experiences. Our analysis shows that this lengthy exposure to the realities and complexities of teaching could be an important contributor to teacher retention in terms of testing and promoting teacher candidates’ ‘resilient qualities’ such as passion for teaching, self-efficacy beliefs, and positive emotion. In other words, the school experience can help teacher candidates develop their understanding of themselves as teachers and assess their suitability for teaching. This study sheds new light on the current practices of teacher retention and teacher recruitment strategies.
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Teacher Development. The published version is available online at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/10.1080/13664530.2018.1484388
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