Reforming Replacement Teaching: A Game Changer for the Development of Early Career Teaching?

Part of the Professional Learning and Development in Schools and Higher Education book series (PROD, volume 16)


The international literature is clear: for early career teachers to develop and be retained as effective professionals, they should begin their careers in stable and predictable roles in schools with supportive administrative arrangements, effective induction and mentoring programs, and a professional school culture. In this chapter I draw on labour market and social network perspectives to investigate and analyse the circumstances of the work of early career teachers in contemporary Australia and elsewhere. The large majority are initially employed in insecure replacement work that is inimical to their effective development and retention. Replacement teaching tends to have poor pay and conditions and to be accorded little professional respect. It is often stressful and unsatisfying, especially for early career teachers without the experience and skills necessary for such challenging and variable work. Replacement teaching often adds little to student learning and is disruptive to the educational and administrative work of schools. In this chapter I suggest a number of interrelated strategies, centred on the professionalisation of replacement teaching, that have the fourfold objectives of ensuring that sufficient numbers of replacement teachers are available to meet requirements, that replacement teaching is of high quality, that the annual cohort of recent graduates has an administratively smooth entry into teaching or other activities, and, most importantly, that all early career teachers receive an effective induction into the teaching profession and the opportunity to set out on a successful career.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CanberraCanberraAustralia

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