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Caribbean Journal of Education

Professional Lives in Transition: Overseas Trained Teachers in England

Publication Date: 
September 2006

This paper discusses initial findings on teacher identity as perceived and discussed by six participants: three overseas trained teachers (OTTs), one secondary headteacher, one local authority director, and one senior policy officer in the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) who is a qualitative researcher at a prestigious London university. Through systematic reflection, each individual explores the potential gains which accrue to OTTs as part of their teaching experiences in England in order to make sense of their “new” emerging teacher identities. Major themes which have emerged from the research include the admission that through their teaching experiences in England, OTTs increase their skills, competences, subject knowledge, and awareness of SEN/EAL issues, thereby enabling improvement in their practice. Greater access to continuing professional development has also been signaled as a potential gain. However, interview evidence has also suggested that OTTs do suffer damaged psyche, impaired self-esteem, and in some cases become worse off financially.

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