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Early career teachers’ resilience and positive adaptive change capabilities

Abstract

This research is an investigation of the link between adaptive functioning and resilience in early career teachers (ECT). Resilience is considered an important capability of teachers and research has shown that teachers who are resourceful, demonstrate agency and develop positive management strategies overcome adversity. In this research, we aim to examine more closely the strategic processes associated with resilience and whether these vary in a cohort of ECT. A sample of ECT (n = 160; M = 31.09, SD = 6.92) participated in the study. The findings showed that, consistent with previous research on adaptive change, three groups emerged from the cohort: stabilisers, adapters, and innovators. Stabilisers were the least resilient, adapters were more resilient, and innovators were most resilient. Length of service was not significantly associated with resilience, while a weak interaction was found between years of service and adaptive functioning. Resilience was strongly associated with adaptive functioning. Findings are discussed in relation to resilience and ECT’s self-care.

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Bowles, T., Arnup, J.L. Early career teachers’ resilience and positive adaptive change capabilities. Aust. Educ. Res. 43, 147–164 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13384-015-0192-1

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Keywords

  • Adaptive functioning
  • Resilience
  • Teacher retention