Thinking About First Year Retention in Teacher Education
Three Students in a Regional University and their Metaphors of Survival
Keywords:first year retention, teacher education, regional universities, social support, learning circle
In Australian faculties of education, retention and progression issues are paramount within the current neo-liberal climate which emphasises student degree completions. This is particularly the case in regional universities, where many students – often the first in their families to attend university – are from rural, regional and low socio-economic communities. This paper draws on data generated during a project that provided support for first year teacher education students in a regional university. Using critical discourse analysis, it describes and analyses the metaphors used by a small group of pre-service teachers as they talked in interviews about their transition into university and the strategies they used to “survive” their first attempts at study in a tertiary institution. The metaphors provide insights into the pre-service teachers’ perceived need for social support alongside traditionally-offered academic support. The data suggest that a rethinking of support offerings might be necessary to ensure that teacher education caters for pre-service teachers who feel dislocated from their home and community roots.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Robyn Henderson, Karen Noble
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