Education Research

Good teachers are leaving the profession

Nobody really knows how exactly many teachers drop out of the profession. A couple of recent articles are keeping this issue in the spotlight, which is a good thing:

This from the conversation

And this a reference to the Gallant and Riley study (Monash).

50% in the first five years is a figure thrown around, 30% in the first three years is another. And unfortunately there is reason to believe that many of the leavers are good quality teachers.

How to keep them in the profession?

Some suggestions that have been raised: increase salaries of experienced teachers and finding a way for society to recognise the professionalism and technical skills required for the profession, giving them the social status they ought to have.

Many ideas about what it means to be a quality teacher are very well articulated in this article by Raewyn Connell.


ASCILITE Presentation

Presenting about support for beginning teachers at ASCILITE. Most useful thing about the conference was finding out about what the Keeping Cool people are doing in this area.


Academic WordPress Todo List

This is a short post about the joys of being an academic in the 21st century. There are more digital communities available than there are predatory open access journals these days and so what is useful online and what is not?

Clearly actually doing research and publishing is the important thing, but my thinking is that the following things are also useful:

  • Slideshare is actually helpful. I’ve noticed some professors that put their slideshare on the last slide, and if they’ve been interesting then it makes it easy for a followup. I’ve also stumbled across collaborators by first coming across their slideshare in Google search
  • Find one place to store all your papers. There are lots of options, like your institutional ePrints or Mendeley or or your personal website. I’m finding that currently I’m trying to keep three of these updated and it doesn’t work so well

I’m still figuring out if blogging is useful (the fact that my colleague’s blog was cited in George Siemens’ book is a good indicator that it probably is if done well) but the point of this website is to try it out and see. I’m sure there’s a clever way of doing this online presence thing that involves half an hour a week, so I’ll keep this updated as I figure it out.

I feel like the ideal kind of a pipeline would be:

  1. Write an article and publish it
  2. Deposit in the institutional ePrints
  3. Write a short blog post about why the world is a different place with this incredibly important finding and linking to the paper
  4. This blog post would then be automatically echoed in social media in some useful way. (What does this look like? Facebook? Twitter?)

I’m figuring all of this out (including the purpose of any of it, given that quality research is the hard part, but then I’m still figuring out the purpose of that is too, so bear with me for some time).


Research overview

I am a Research Fellow based at the Australian Digital Futures Institute (ADFI). This web site is about bringing together all of my research to communicate the ideas beyond publications and to listen to any comments.

A good place to start is with an overview of all the research that I’m actively involved in at the moment, with some links to the projects and the organisations responsible:

    • Virtual Communities of Practice for Transition from Higher Education to Profession (ADFI)

Universities build strong communities amongst pre-service teachers. Often much of the community support is lost in the transition into practice. How could we design and foster a virtual community of practice within the university that could then support these teachers as well as possible in their first year of practice?

    • How students ground their knowledge when learning from models (ADFI, CoCo)

A collaboration led by Lina Markauskaite of the CoCo research centre using results from a study of students as they learn about the complexity of climate change with a model. The work examines epistemic fluency in model based learning.

    • Learning Analytics: Natural Language Processing (ADFI, CoCo)

More info to follow, but for now view papers here where you can see the published work that has come out recently.

A thread that runs through the work is creating communities for supporting learning – where learning is something takes place both inside and outside institutions.