An Exploration of Preservice Teachers’ Readiness for Teaching in Rural and Remote Schools
Preparing teachers for rural and remote (RR) schools in Australia appears to be an ongoing issue with many schools continuing to experience staff shortages. This research aimed to understand preservice teachers’ (n=23) perceptions of their readiness for teaching in RR schools within four theoretical constructs, namely: self, classroom, school, and community. Following a RR professional experience, preservice teachers completed a literature-based Likert scale survey with written response questions to investigate their readiness for teaching in RR communities within the four constructs. Results showed that more than 80% of participants indicated self-readiness for teaching; yet, work recognition (70%), discussing career goals (65%), and having wellbeing supported (61%) had lower percentages. Classroom readiness was indicated by 83% or more of the preservice teachers for seven of the eight items; however, less than half claimed they had trust in the leadership for school readiness. Community readiness had percentages lower than 80% across the eight associated items. The results suggested preservice teachers can be supported during professional experience to promote teaching in RR contexts as a way to overcome teacher shortages.
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