Stories of Resilience
: Exploring resilience amongst part-time trainee teachers in the Netherlands

  • Barbara Roosken

Student thesis: EdD


This research investigates what teaching experiences, strategies and factors impact on early career teachers’ (ECTs’) resilience in secondary colleges in the south of the Netherlands. The ECTs are undergraduate trainee teachers who are enrolled as part-time English as a Foreign language students. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve individual ECTs from three different cohorts, twice in the timespan of two years, in order to get access to the reality of everyday school life viewed through the ECTs’ lens. The three different cohorts consisted of four beginning ECTs, four regular ECTs and four long-term ECTs. Data was collected over a two-year period and included recorded interviews with ECTs, line drawings, relational maps, ECTs’ portfolios and the researcher’s memos. The participants recalled their teaching experiences by means of analysing critical incidents that occurred in their classrooms. The data collection, analysis and discussion were organised into twelve cases. A thematic data analysis was used (Guest et al., 2012; Braun & Clarke, 2013), with the help of ATLAS.ti 7 software. The findings show that the ECTs were often expected to take on the full range of teaching tasks in isolation, with little support to cope with all the demands of their new role. The ECTs found that personal factors, such as self-efficacy and a sense of agency, helped develop their resilience, as well as contextual resources provided in schools and by employing bodies. Although the development of resilience was different for every ECT, participants also shared common strategies that contributed to development of resilience, such as emotional regulation, seeking renewal, goal setting and help seeking, when overcoming the setbacks they experienced. By identifying strategies that impact on resilience, this research has strengthened the guidelines on which induction programmes at Teacher Education Colleges can be made. It is suggested that ECTs are mentored around developing resilience strategies, in order to increase their confidence to work and teach in a new school environment. It is argued that the critical incidents approach, designed to support ECTs in building stories about their teaching experiences, could be used as a teaching methodology for trainee teachers at Teaching Education Colleges.
Date of Award2017
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Roehampton
SponsorsFontys University of Applied Sciences
SupervisorChristine Lloyd (Supervisor) & Jacqueline van Swet (Supervisor)


  • Resilience Early career teachers Induction

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