Academic journal article Adult Learning

Transformational Teaching Experience of a Novice Teacher: A Narrative of an Award-Winning Teacher

Academic journal article Adult Learning

Transformational Teaching Experience of a Novice Teacher: A Narrative of an Award-Winning Teacher

Article excerpt

Abstract: This research investigates the transformational teaching experiences of a novice award-winning teacher. Data collection consisted primarily of interviews and observations. To support these methods, we utilized field notes and reflection journals to triangulate the data. To become a successful teacher, the teacher passed through transformational experiences of teaching challenges, preparation and organization skills, hard work and dedication, extracurricular activities, mentoring, and, most importantly, professional development

Keywords: novice teachers, transformative learning, teaching experiences, an award-winning teacher, narrative research, mentoring, professional development


No vice teachers may pass through different stages of transformational teaching experience in their quest to become experienced teachers. Teaching is a highly contextualized social practice with specific skills (Goodson, 1991). It takes time, dedication, hard work, and learning for new teachers to be able to reflect on personal experiences. Transformational learning involves experiencing critical questioning of beliefs and assumptions as the individual examines the framework from which they have been viewing their world (King, 2009).

An award-winning teacher seems to have more complex and flexible concepts of teaching effectiveness and uses a wider range of criteria in evaluating their teaching. A novice teacher is one with less than 3 years of teaching experience and whose teaching tends to focus on survival and establishing basic classroom routines (Huberman, 1993). Quality teaching seems to transform students' perception of their world and their knowledge of real-world problems (Harvey & Green, 1993). Similarly, Hativa, Barak, and Simhi (2001) pointed out that quality teaching focuses on four components: lesson organization, lesson clarity, interests in learning, and positive classroom climate.

Novice teachers often face challenges such as classroom management, use of technology, teaching pedagogy, and community involvement. The transition from a novice teacher to an experienced teacher may be a challenging phenomenon. Not every novice teacher makes it to the level to be recognized as an award-winning teacher. The success of a novice teacher is major for those who decide to persevere in their quest to become a successful teacher. According to Bandura (1997) and Bartell (2005), early success is a significant indicator of success later in the career cycle. It may be helpful to understand what impacts a novice teacher's success, especially in the context of the transformational teaching experiences for these teachers. Thus, additional information about the challenges a new teacher undergoes in transitioning to an experienced teacher is needed.

One approach to learning more about this important transition is to look at cases and learn the stories of successful teachers (Athanases & De Oliveira, 2008). Little research exists regarding a narrative of transformational teaching experiences of an award-winning teacher. This article provides a narrative transformational journey of one award-winning teacher, as well as access to the transformational processes that created the opportunity for the teacher to be successful. This article discusses the following research questions:

Research Question 1: What are the transformational teaching experiences of a novice award-winning teacher?

Research Question 2: What are the challenges a novice teacher faces in his or her quest to become a successful teacher?

Theoretical Framework

Transformational learning is a process during which adult learners critically examine their beliefs, assumptions, and values in light of acquiring new knowledge and begin a process of personal and social change called refraining in perspective (Mezirow, 1990). Taylor (2008) argued that in the present diverse and globalized world, there is interdependency with the environment, where people face constant life changes. …

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