Early-career English teachers’ perspectives on teaching literature in secondary schools
Together with the deeply held desire to influence the quality of young people's lives, a 'love of literature' is consistently invoked as one of the principal motivations for choosing to become a teacher of English. A rich stream of scholarship in English curriculum history has yielded considerable insights into the origins of an enduring commitment to literature as the subject's centre of gravity. A commitment just as, if not more evident in versions of English in NSW curriculum documents over the course of more than a century as it has been in other Australian and international jurisdictions. Participants were asked to identify their greatest challenges as a teacher and to then nominate the aspects of teaching that have hindered the realisation of their goals. Mentoring programs along with schemes that provide for a reduced teaching load in the first years of teaching can potentially ameliorate the commonly identified adverse conditions and experiences of early-career teachers.