Who withdraws from initial teacher preparation programmes and why?

HOBSON, Andrew, GIANNAKAKI, Marina-Stefania and CHAMBERS, Gary N. (2009). Who withdraws from initial teacher preparation programmes and why? Educational Research, 51 (3), 321-340.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00131880903156906
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1080/00131880903156906


Background: In recent years, withdrawal from initial teacher preparation (ITP) programmes, in England and elsewhere, has become a cause for concern amongst both ITP providers and policy-makers.

Purpose: This paper seeks to enhance the presently underdeveloped evidence base on the causes of withdrawal from ITP and on the characteristics of student teachers who are most likely to withdraw.

Sample: All ITP providers in England were stratified by ITP route (including university-administered undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, school-centred and employment-based programmes) and a random sample within each route was selected. Of the 110 providers invited to participate in the research, 74 agreed to take part. All student teachers following the specified ITP routes in these institutions were then invited to participate in a longitudinal survey about their experiences of ITP and early professional development.

Design and methods: Student teachers (n = 4790) completed an initial questionnaire about their reasons for undertaking ITP and their preconceptions about ITP and teaching. Of these, 3162 took part in a follow-up telephone interview about their experiences of ITP and, for 135 of these participants, about their experiences of withdrawing from ITP. Descriptive and inferential statistics were employed: (a) to explore the experiences of those who withdrew from ITP; (b) to examine the extent to which withdrawal might be predicted by their reasons for undertaking ITP or their preconceptions of ITP and teaching; (c) to compare the responses to a number of key questions of those who withdrew from ITP and those who did not.

Results: The findings show that withdrawal from ITP is differentiated by a number of variables including the ITP route being followed, whether student teachers are seeking to teach in primary or secondary schools, their age, gender and prior commitment to the profession. Data suggest that the main causes of withdrawal relate to workload and an apparent lack of support from ITP providers.

Conclusions: The findings support some those of earlier studies but contradict others, for example by showing that those who report more prior experience of working in schools are not less likely to withdraw from ITP. A number of implications are presented for teacher educators and policy-makers.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Institute of Education
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/00131880903156906
Page Range: 321-340
Depositing User: Lorna Greaves
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2012 10:47
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 23:30
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6094

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