University of Tasmania
Final Thesis - AFRIYIE.pdf (2.57 MB)

Post and forget : narrative inquiry of commencing teachers' in the Northern region of Ghana

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posted on 2024-03-27, 01:56 authored by Sally Afriyie

In recent times, teacher shortage has become a global concern. Notably, teachers in their early years of teaching are among the highest to exit the profession. The exodus of these commencing teachers has been attributed to a myriad of issues. In the case of Ghana, these issues are complex and interconnected. Teachers posted to rural and underserved schools face inadequate resources and a lack of professional support. Additionally, the mode of recruitment of teachers into the profession is problematic. There are multiple pathways of entry into the profession; through a formal pathway, via practical roles within a school followed by formalised learning, and some even enter teaching without any form of training. With limited attention given to the experiences of these commencing teachers, this study provides an in-depth understanding of commencing teachers’ experiences in underserved settings in Ghana. Through this focus, the study examined the elements that influence these teachers’ experiences and the implications for their decisions to stay in or leave the profession.
This study adopted a narrative inquiry approach set within the constructivist paradigm. Data were gathered through interviews with photo elicitation, observation, and reflective journaling. The participants were eight commencing trained and untrained teachers in underserved rural basic schools in the Northern region of Ghana. The data were analysed using Clandinin and Connelly’s ‘three-dimensional narrative inquiry space’ to generate independent narratives.
The findings are provocative. First, the study found that teachers' experiences are underscored by an interdependent relationship between personal and contextual elements. Second, commencing teachers’ experiences were characterised by seven unique critical phases, namely: the dream, anticipation, arrival, navigation, settling in, negotiation and contemplation, as well as resolution. These phases reflected participants’ struggles and triumphs during their journey. Third, participants’ decisions to stay or leave - both a resultant and a contributory factor of teachers’ experiences - were informed by their short- and long[1]term perspectives. Ultimately, teachers’ experiences are a complicated process hinged on the interplay of multifaceted elements.
This study brings to the fore the intricate experiences of commencing teachers as they navigate their professional journeys. It provides the opportunity for a holistic understanding and insights into the role of the personal and socio-cultural milieu in teachers’ experiences which has been absent in existing studies. Through this focus, previously unvoiced perspectives of the critical problem of why commencing teachers stay or leave have been unearthed. These insights will interest diverse groups – school leadership, education authorities and other relevant stakeholders.



  • PhD Thesis


xvi, 318 pages


School of Education

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