Sample Education Leadership and Management Dissertation Proposal
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Proposal Title: A Voice from Within: Experiences of Novice Teachers
Chapter 1. The Problem
An Introduction about novice teachers
In this study, novice teachers are defined as beginning teachers who have taught for five years or less. During their first years in the profession, novice teachers face different challenges and are thus exposed to different experiences (Baecher, 2012).
They also use different approaches to teaching and dealing with the challenges that they encounter during that stage. Therefore, despite facing different experiences and using different methods to teach, novice teachers share common work-related concerns and experiences resulting from the challenges faced during the early stage of their profession (Farrell, 2012).
Regarding the experiences of novice teachers, several research studies have been conducted. One of the earliest and most common studies was conducted by Olson and Osborne (1991).
In their study, the researchers required 4 novice teachers teaching in their first year in a Canadian school in an urban area on their experiences and challenges faced during their first year of teaching.
According to written explanations on the responses, the researchers coded for experiential themes and then engaged the respondents in semi-structured interviews.
As shown in Table 1 below, the researchers established that 10 themes were common to novice teachers based on their experience and challenges faced during their first year in their profession (Olson and Osborne, 1991).
The experiential themes show some of the challenges and hardships that novice teachers face during their early years in their profession. The table is presented below.
A narrative hook
Recently, there have been various research studies that have been conducted on the subject of the plight of novice teachers. For instance, studies have been conducted on the challenges that novice teachers face in transitioning from training colleges to their profession, with a focus on their first year of teaching.
However, there is limited research on the causes of such challenges, how novice teachers deal with them, and approaches that could be implemented to help novice teachers in overcoming the challenges.
Previous researchers have failed to identify strategies that schools could put in place specifically for novice teachers to help them ineffective transition into their profession.
Such strategies would also help the novice teachers in understanding the expected challenges and thus being prepared psychologically to deal with them; this is the focus of this study.
The importance of this study
This study is important because it will bridge the existing gap in existing literature concerning the challenges faced by novice teachers.
Existing literature proves that novice teachers face challenges in their transition from college to their profession and especially during their early career years.
However, there is limited evidence on the causes of such challenges, strategies to prepare novice teachers psychologically, and approaches to solve the challenges.
Therefore, this study suggests the causes of challenges to novice teachers, ways and importance of preparing novice teachers psychologically to face the challenges, and approaches that schools could set in place specifically to help novice teachers in the effective transition from college to their profession.
The recommendations made in this study can be used by schools and school management authorities to formulate and implement strategies that can help novice teachers in easing the transition into their profession.
The gap that prompts the study
Novice teachers face challenges during their transition from college to professionalism and their first years in teaching. The challenges are mainly caused by new responsibilities and a lack of adequate experience in teaching.
They also face challenges in identifying the most effective teaching methods to use to ensure the effective delivery of content to students (Caspersen and Raaen, 2014).
Further, they are not used to such challenges during the college stage. It is also caused by a lack of adequate psychological preparation for the tasks ahead of them during the transition.
This is because researchers have failed to formulate approaches that could be implemented to help in preparing novice teachers psychologically to prepare for such challenges and approaches to resolve them (Hedgcock & Ferris, 2018).
Therefore, there is that gap in the literature, and this study seeks to bridge the gap. It seeks to formulate strategies that school authorities and management could implement when dealing with novice teachers to help them ineffective transition, preparing psychologically for the challenges ahead of them, and strategies that could be implemented to solve the challenges.
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How to address the problem
The problem will be addressed by collecting data from novice teachers on the challenges they face, any approaches (if any) that they have attempted to use to address the challenges, whether or not they were prepared for the challenges, and how they plan to address such challenges.
Data collection will be done using the phenomenology method. The data collected will then be analyzed through descriptive analysis. The research will also focus on the importance of preparing novice teachers psychologically for challenges when transitioning from college to teaching. The strategies formulated will also be recommended to schools and relevant authorities to implement to help in
A theoretical stance
Host schools can help novice teachers in coping with challenges, and psychological preparedness is key to coping with challenges among novice teachers.
There are various ways of enhancing the transition from college to professional teaching for novice teachers, thus overcoming challenges.
Ontology with assumptions;
Ontology refers to the science of study in research. Ontology deals with the nature of reality and it constitutes a system of belief that shows the interpretation that an individual concerning what constitutes a fact. It is used for evaluating an individual’s interpretation of a particular fact. In this study, the ontology assumptions made include the following;
i. All novice teachers face challenges during their early years of teaching.
ii. Host schools have failed to formulate strategies to help novice teachers in coping with challenges.
Epistemology with assumptions
Epistemology refers to the study of knowledge. There are three factors that are associated with the contribution of acquisition of knowledge; justification, belief, and truth. Consequently, knowledge involves absolute facts that cannot be falsified. Therefore, knowledge is justified true belief. In this study, the epistemology stance assumptions include the following;
i. Psychological preparedness is important to overcoming challenges among novice teachers.
ii. Strategies formulated by host schools to help novice teachers in transition can help them in coping with challenges.
Axiology with Assumptions
Axiology refers to the philosophical study of value. It is also used as a collective term for philosophical fields that rely on notions of worth, ethics and aesthetics, as well as foundations for such fields. Axiology is similar to meta-ethics and value theory. The axiology assumptions made in this study include the following;
i. Phenomenology is the most efficient method to use in data collection.
ii. The data collected will have negligible bias. Methodology stance.
This refers to the approach that is followed in collecting data, analyzing the collected data and presenting it, discussing how the data collected relates to the field of study, as well as drawing conclusions based on the data collected. It also justifies the approach selected for use in data collection and analysis in the study. The assumption made in this case is that the approach will face minimal challenges when used in the study.
Method of Gathering Data
Data collection will be done through a semi-structured interview and observation. The researcher will identify a sample of novice teachers who are still experiencing challenges in their transition from college to their career practice. The population sample, upon their consent, will be interviewed on the challenges their facing. The semi-structured interview will focus on the challenges they have faced, any approaches that they have used to address the challenges, any assistance given by the school in which they are teaching to ease their transition, as well as whether or not they were psychologically prepared for the challenges before leaving college. The interviews will be recorded using digital audio recorders and then transcribed later to decode the message. The information will then be used to compile the final report and address the research questions. The effectiveness of the research study will be determined by whether or not the research questions have been addressed effectively.
What strategies can host schools implement to help novice teachers in transitioning from college to professional teaching and overcoming the challenges faced? How can psychological preparedness help novice teachers in overcoming challenges in teaching during their early years?
Domain of inquiry
There is a lack of adequate evidence on how host schools can help novice teachers in overcoming challenges and easing their transition from college to professional teaching. There is also limited literature on how psychological preparedness can help novice teachers in overcoming challenges during their early years of teaching.
Specific problem (in question form)
i. What are the experiences of novice teachers?
ii. What are the challenges encountered by novice teachers in their teaching profession?
iii. What strategies do novice teachers implement to cope with the challenges?
iv. What theory will be developed based on the results of the study?
What are the experiences of novice teachers during their early years of teaching? Are novice teachers prepared psychologically before leaving college for the challenges they would face in their early teaching?
What challenges are faced by novice teachers in their early years of teaching? What are the causes of these challenges?
G. Strategies in coping with the challenges
What strategies do novice teachers implement to cope with the challenges? What strategies have host schools formulated to help novice teachers in transitioning from college to professional practice?
H. What theory be developed based on the results of the study?
The findings of the study will be used to formulate a theory that relates solutions to the challenges faced by novice teachers to psychological preparedness and strategies formulated and implemented by host schools.
This study is important because it suggests the causes of challenges to novice teachers, ways and importance of preparing novice teachers psychologically to face the challenges, and approaches that schools could set in place specifically to help novice teachers ineffective transition from college to their profession. The recommendations made in this study can be used by schools and school management authorities to formulate and implement strategies that can help novice teachers in easing the transition into their profession.
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Chapter II. Research Methodology
This qualitative study will adopt a phenomenology design. A phenomenology is an approach that involves studying the experience from the perspective of the participants (Lewis, 2015).
In this case, the method will help in studying the challenges faced by novice teachers from the perspective of novice teachers. It also implies that there is no hypothesis formulated for the study or pre-conceived ideas on the data collected.
Phenomenology is concerned with the use of various methods of data collection such as conversations, interviews, action research, participant observation, analysis of diaries, focus meetings, as well as other personal texts (Hesdorffer, 2012); all these approaches will be used in this study to evaluate the challenges faced by novice teachers, causes of the challenges, whether or not the novice teachers were psychologically prepared for the challenges, and if or not there are any approaches that host schools formulate and implement to help novice teachers in overcoming the challenges and coping with the situations.
The phenomenology method was selected for this study due to its suitability because of the nature of data to be collected (Bar‐Yam, 2016).
Further, the method has been structured in such a manner that it is more open-ended and it is less structured; this encourages participants to be comfortable in sharing in-depth information and details on their experiences.
In this case, it will enable novice teachers to share details on the challenges they have faced, whether or not they were psychologically prepared for the challenges before leaving college, any approaches used to help them cope with the situation, and whether or not they receive any assistance from host schools in coping with the situation.
This also implies that the method encourages subjectivity (Edginton, 2010). The goal of using the method, in this case, is to ensure that participants give in-depth information on their experience, and this also justifies the use of semi-structured interviews in data collection. The four steps involved in phenomenology will be followed in this study;
Data collection will be done at Baybay National High School. Novice teachers will be involved in the study subject to their consent and meeting the criteria that they are in their first, second or third year of teaching at the school. Therefore, informants are the novice teachers and the experienced teachers in their first three years of experience in teaching. They will be required to narrate their experience thus far.
Sampling will be done through purposive sampling. This means that selection of novice teachers to be involved in the study will rely on the judgment of the researcher. The researcher will select the population subject to their meeting the selection criteria and willingness to participate.
Data collection procedure
Data collection from the sample will be done using the various methods of data collection encompassed in the phenomenology method; conversations, interviews, action research, participant observation, analysis of diaries, focus meetings, as well as other personal texts.
Semi-structured interviews will be used to collect data so as to ensure in-depth data is collected from the participants. Once data has been collected, it will be recorded using notebooks, a digital audio recorder, as well as the questionnaire papers administered to the respondents. It will then be analyzed and used for the study.
Data analysis will be done using interpretative phenomenological analysis. This is because;
i. This is a qualitative research design.
ii. The study involves secondary data.
iii. Interpretative phenomenological analysis is simple to use, less time-consuming, and suited to the kind of data collected in the study.
According to the Belmont Report on ethical considerations for studies in which human subjects are involved, the following will be observed (Dittrich & Kenneally, 2012);
Non-maleficence; participants will not be harmed in any way, whether before, during, or after the study as a result of their involvement.
Beneficence; the findings of the study will be beneficial to the participants since they will be used to formulate approaches that host schools could help novice teachers in overcoming challenges.
Health maximization; the health of the novice teachers will be protected and involvement in the study does not pose any danger to the novice teachers.
Efficiency; data collection, analysis, presentation, and use in drawing recommendations will be done efficiently. Data collection will also be done efficiently.
Respect for autonomy; participants will remain autonomous and data collected will be protected from access by unauthorized personnel.
Justice; participants will be protected from any potential danger due to their participation in the study. They will also be required to report any danger arising from their involvement in the study.
The researcher will explain the contents of the study to the targeted population before they commit to participate in the study. They will be informed of the objective, outcomes, and importance of the study, potential outcomes of their participation (no negative outcome whatsoever), as well as that there will be no monetary compensation for participating.
It is the role of the researcher to ensure that the participants comprehend the crucial details of the study before they participate. After that, willing participants will be required to express their will through their consent. The researcher will then document the informed consent of the participants.
B.1. Informant status
Informants have to be novice teachers in their first three years of teaching at Baybay National High School.
B.2. Study goals
The goals of the study include to;
i. To evaluate the challenges faced by novice teachers.
ii. To evaluate the approaches used by novice teachers in addressing the challenges they face.
iii. To evaluate the existence of strategies formulated by host schools to help novice teachers in coping with the challenges.
iv. To evaluate whether or not novice teachers were prepared for the challenges before transitioning from college to professional practice.
B.3. Type of data
Qualitative data will be collected from the novice teachers as well as through observations.
The phenomenology approach will be used. This implies data collection will be done through as conversations, interviews, action research, participant observation, analysis of diaries, focus meetings, as well as other personal texts.
B.5. Nature of the commitment
Participants will be committed to participating in the study through consensual commitment.
The study will be sponsored by the researcher since it is relatively affordable.
B.7. Participant selection
Random sampling will be used for selecting participants.
B.8. Potential Risk
There is no potential risk to the novice teachers for being involved in the study. However, the data collected is subject to bias since its accuracy depends on the honesty of the respondents.
No alternatives identified at the moment.
B.10. Confidentiality Pledge
The researcher will pledge to keep participants anonymous. Further, the data collected will be made available to authorized personnel only.
B.11. Voluntary Consent
Participants will be required to give their voluntary consent once they have understood the aims of the study. The consent will then be documented.
C. Authorization to Access private information
The data collected will be stored in a safe place and protected from unauthorized personnel through encryption. Passwords will only be given to authorized personnel.
- Confidentiality procedure
- The researcher will explain the details of the research to novice teachers.
- A sample population will be selected randomly.
- Voluntary consent will be documented.
- Data collected will be encrypted and access granted to authorized personnel only.
- Debriefing, communication and referrals
Debriefing will be done to assure participants of their safety and justice, as well as informing them that they need to report should their security be threatened as a result of participating in the study.
They will also be debriefed on how they will benefit from the study. Contacts through which participants can communicate to the researcher will also be given out. The researcher will also assure participants of future referrals for similar studies.
Conflict of interest
There is no conflict of interest; both the researcher and participants are driven by the same goal; to identify effective ways for novice teachers to overcome challenges.
The data collected could be biased where a respondent is driven by selfish ambitions to give false information that suits their needs.
a. Credibility; High.
b. Dependability; High
c. Conformability; High.
d. Transferability; High
This study suggests the causes of challenges to novice teachers, ways and importance of preparing novice teachers psychologically to face the challenges, and approaches that schools could set in place specifically to help novice teachers ineffective transition from college to their profession.
The recommendations made in this study can be used by schools and school
management authorities to formulate and implement strategies that can help novice teachers in easing the transition into their profession.
Baecher, L. (2012). Feedback from the field: What novice preK–12 ESL teachers want to tell TESOL teacher educators. TESOL Quarterly, 46(3), 578-588. Bar‐Yam, Y. (2016). The limits of phenomenology: from behaviourism to drug testing and engineering design.
Complexity, 21(S1), 181-189. Caspersen, J., & Raaen, F. D. (2014). Novice teachers and how they cope. Teachers and Teaching, 20(2), 189-211. Dittrich, D., & Kenneally, E. (2012). The Menlo Report: Ethical principles guiding information and communication technology research. US Department of Homeland Security. Edginton, B. (2010).
Architecture as Therapy: A Case Study in the Phenomenology of Design. Journal of Design History, 23(1), 83-97. Farrell, T. S. (2012). Novice‐service language teacher development: Bridging the gap between preservice and in‐service education and development.
Tesol Quarterly, 46(3), 435-449. Hedgcock, J. S., & Ferris, D. R. (2018). Teaching readers of English: Students, texts, and contexts. Routledge. Hesdorffer, D. C., Shinnar, S., Lewis, D. V., Moshé, S. L., Nordli Jr, D. R., Pellock, J. M., … & Epstein, L. G. (2012).
Design and phenomenology of the FEBSTAT study. Epilepsia, 53(9), 1471-1480. Lewis, S. (2015). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Health promotion practice, 16(4), 473-475. Olson, M. R., & Osborne, J. W. (1991).
Learning to teach: The first year. Teaching and Teacher Education, 7(4), 331-343.
1. For how long have you taught?
2. What are the experiences that you have faced so far?
3. What challenges have you encountered in your teaching profession?
4. Were you prepared psychologically for the challenges? Did your college prepare you psychologically for such challenges?
5. What strategies do you implement to cope with the challenges?
6. How does this host school help in coping with the situation?
Are there any strategies specifically for helping novice teachers in coping with the situation?
7. What approaches do you think can be put in place to help novice teachers to comfortably cope with transition from training college to professional teaching?