AITSL advice on the value of strong induction for teachers to support staff retention
With early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings beginning to look towards 2021, reflecting on staffing arrangements to best suit the needs not only of children and families, but also to meet regulatory requirements, the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) has issued advice on induction, focusing on why it matters and how to facilitate good induction experiences.
Research, AITSL said, indicates that leaders can help their recruitment efforts by giving due consideration to a strong teacher induction process, describing taking the time to build and utilise strong induction experiences as “an investment with high returns.”
Substantial Australian and international research demonstrates that high-quality induction has a dramatic effect on the transition into a working environment.
In the ECEC context, the induction process can strengthen the skills and knowledge of early career teachers, expand their teaching repertoire, improve job satisfaction and commitment, and reduce teacher attrition in the early years – an especially important consideration for ECEC given the workforce challenges being faced.
Solid induction methodology also supports early career teachers to manage their own wellbeing and career development.
The graduate teacher experience, AITSL advice read, is a clear example.
“As graduate teachers enter the profession, they are characteristically enthusiastic, engaged and ready to make a difference. High-quality induction programs lead to graduate teachers having a material impact on learner outcomes.”
Top tips for effective induction:
- The effectiveness of induction programs increase as the range of supports and strategies provided increase.
- The best induction programs include practice-focused mentoring, leadership contact, participation in collaborative networks, targeted professional learning, observation and reflection on teaching, practical information and time allocation.
- Practice-focused mentoring, by one or more expert colleagues, is particularly powerful in supporting the transition of a teacher from the Graduate to Proficient career stage.
- Induction should focus on four key areas: professional practices, professional identity, wellbeing and orientation.
Further information about the research conducted into an effective induction program can be found in AITSL’s publication Graduate to Proficient – Australian guidelines for teacher induction into the profession.
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