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ERIC Number: EJ1144013
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0256-0100
The Liminality of New Foundation Phase Teachers: Transitioning from University into the Teaching Profession
Petersen, Nadine
South African Journal of Education, v37 n2 Article 1361 May 2017
This paper explores novice foundation phase teachers' descriptions of their experiences in the liminal stage between being a student teacher and entering the professional world of the early grade classroom. The term "liminality" was popularised by anthropologist Turner (1969), building on the early work of Van Gennep (1960), in his work on rites of passage. The fluidity of the liminal period is characterised by instability and uncertainty with a diversity of factors affecting different novice teachers. In a generic qualitative study, based on individual, semi-structured interviews with 10 participants, findings show that the new teachers appeared to be somewhat unrealistic and/or unprepared in their expectations of what they would encounter in this period. The novices struggled to settle into the practice of a school classroom and largely blame the inadequacy of their teacher education programmes. They also cite the demands of tracking their young charges' learning and the lack of support from senior teachers as compounding factors for the difficulties they faced. These issues may have serious consequences for the retention of teachers in this important phase of schooling and therefore require the attention of both teacher education and school managers.
Education Association of South Africa. University of Pretoria, Centre for the Study of Resilience, Level 3, Groenkloof Student Centre, Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education, George Storrar Road and Lleyds Street, Pretoria 0001, South Africa. Tel: +27-12-420-5798; Fax: +27-12-420-5511; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A