In recent years we have seen a massive hiring of new college teachers in Québec.
While it is encouraged, teacher training is not a requirement for employment. In the current context of economic austerity, how can we facilitate the successful professional integration of new teachers, and ensure that they adopt learning-centred teaching practices aimed at helping the greatest possible number of students to succeed academically? To that end, universities and Cégeps offer a variety of initial and in-service training opportunities, but participation remains optional and their availability and content vary greatly from one establishment to another. To what extent does such training actually help Cégeps to reach their objective? To answer this question, Louise Ménard and her team measured the impact of teacher training and support on the sense of teaching efficacy of new Cégep teachers and on the motivation and learning strategies of their students.
Training and support have some impact on teachers’ sense of efficacy.
The results showed that training and, to a greater extent, support had some impact on teachers’ sense of efficacy, but did not appear to affect student motivation and learning strategies. They also revealed that the working conditions for new teachers were considered by many to be very challenging. Therefore, it seems important to ensure that novice teachers receive adequate support from the outset of their teaching careers.
The training of post-secondary teachers must also be reviewed with an eye to producing teachers who will have a positive impact on the motivation and learning strategies of their students; further research is needed on this subject. Finally, there is a need to improve the working conditions for new teachers in order to foster their successful integration and the application of their teacher training.
Louise Ménard, Université du Québec à Montréal
Deposit of the research report: July 2012