Research Overview and Aims


Attracting and retaining high quality teachers to the profession is of international concern as it has far reaching economic and social implications for all nations. In Australia, teacher workforce development has focused predominantly on attracting and recruiting quality teachers, with less attention given to the broader retention process. This study will investigate how school leaders influence new teachers and foster their professional commitment. Furthermore, it will identify micropolitical strategies and activities that can be employed by leaders to promote the effective engagement and retention of quality early career teachers.


The overall aim of this project is to investigate school leaders’ use of sophisticated micropolitical strategies and tactics that promote the retention of high quality early career teachers. The problem that the project seeks to address is the loss of high quality graduate teachers from schools during the first few years of their careers.

Specifically, the project aims to:

  • Generate new understandings of teacher workforce planning and management, shifting the focus from attraction and recruitment, to retention;
  • Embrace collaborative inquiry approaches to produce new knowledge and insights into the micropolitical dynamics of early career teacher transition to the profession; and
  • Develop guidelines for school leaders, based on sound research evidence, that identify the micropolitical activities that promote the engagement and retention of quality early career teachers.

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