An Exploration of Preservice Teachers’ Readiness for Teaching in Rural and Remote Schools

Abstract

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.

Author Biography

Suzanne (Sue) Margaret Hudson, Southern Cross University

Dr Suzanne Hudson has been involved in teaching and teacher education for over 30 years. Suzanne is now based at the Gold Coast campus at SCU and is the Director of Professional Experience. Prior to coming to SCU she was at QUT where she was responsible for initiating the Bachelor of Education (primary) at the Caboolture campus.

Suzanne was the successful applicant of a $1.45 million grant for the implementation of the Teacher Education Done Differently (TEDD) project. This project was recognised as enhancing student learning in 2012 with an Australian Award for University Teaching (DEEWR).

Suzanne's research interests include: initial teacher education; the role of mentor teachers in supporting beginning and preservice teachers; professional experience and; supporting staffing in rural and remote school communities.

Published
2020-11-11
How to Cite
Hudson, S. (Sue), Young, K., Thiele, C., & Hudson, P. (2020). An Exploration of Preservice Teachers’ Readiness for Teaching in Rural and Remote Schools. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 30(3), 51-68. Retrieved from https://journal.spera.asn.au/index.php/AIJRE/article/view/280