Novice university teachers' professional learning: to follow traditions or change them?
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Novice university teachers' academic careers often start without any formal preparation for teaching. University teachers' development as teachers depends on their ability to learn from different domains. This study was carried out with early-career teachers in Estonian higher education institutions. The paper analyses how novice teachers in higher education institutions have interpreted their first experiences as teachers, and how these experiences have affected their learning of how to teach. The study is based on 30 semi-structured interviews. The research demonstrates that differences in the journeys towards becoming a university teacher have shaped university teachers' knowledge of the domain, teaching-related beliefs about teaching and also motivation to work and develop as a university teacher. Novice teachers' learning is also influenced by the community, relationships in the community, teaching traditions and pedagogical courses. As a result of the study we find two orientations of professional learning: following the current teaching traditions or acting as agents of change.
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