Policy and Practice: Tensions in Professional Identity of Newly Qualified Teachers

A study was designed to address research questions raised by Pillen, Beijaard, and den Brok (2013) regarding tensions in professional identity of newly qualified teachers (NQTs). These tensions include 1) the shift in identity from student to teacher; 2) mismatch between desired and actual support; and 3) contradictory conceptions of learning to teach. This paper reports on data gathered from questionnaires sent to 85 NQTs. Preliminary findings relate NQTs’ backgrounds, training routes, and school contexts to the types of tensions they identify and how they resolve these conflicts. Based on our findings, we outline the next stages of research into how to support beginning teachers during training and into their NQT year.