Educational Research and Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Educ. Res. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1990-3839
  • DOI: 10.5897/ERR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2008

Full Length Research Paper

IT support for the learning of beginning Teachers in New South Wales, Australia

Ingrid Harrington
University of New England School of Education Armidale, NSW, Australia
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 April 2010
  •  Published: 30 June 2010



New or beginning teachers are well received by the education profession, yet for a large portion of new teachers the assessment of how successful their transition into the first year of teaching tends to be overtly negative. Research reports indicate that the often traumatic and difficult nature of new teachers’ experiences is not a new phenomenon and is a problem shared by many new teachers nationwide and in the western world. Consequently, the retention rate for new teachers is decreasing at an alarming rate and is currently reported that 33% of beginning teachers in New South Wales do not expect to be teaching in public schools within the next 10 years. While literature about how to teach is prolific, yet according to new teachers, managing the real life situation is often more daunting than first envisioned. This paper reports on the experiences of education graduates of the University of New England teacher in their first year of teaching based on their postings to an on-line support network launched by the University of New England in 2005, entitled the Professional Development Support project. Analysis of the postings revealed that these beginning teachers sought support from the network on a number of specific topics at different times of the school year. This paper presents the findings of this analysis in terms of the categories of their inquiries and the variations in their experiences. The paper provides recommendations for teacher education programmes in response.


Key words: Beginning teacher, teacher retention, teacher training, mentoring, professional development.