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Failure to launch : a case of career transition from trade to teacher terminated

conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by William BlayneyWilliam Blayney, Roberta HarreveldRoberta Harreveld
This paper tells the story of a tradesman’s failure to launch into secondary school teaching. It reports on a case of career transition that was part of a larger study of the lived experiences of 16 tradespersons who were graduates from an Australian University, five to ten years post-graduation with dual qualifications to teach Secondary and Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs in schools. However, not all tradespersons who completed this initial teacher education program with the aim of becoming secondary school technology teachers chose to enter teaching. This paper reports on the case of Joe, a tradesperson who decided to terminate his career transition into teaching soon after graduating with honours from his university degree. A descriptive, interpretative case study method was used. Data were collected from interview and the university’s archival student records. Thematic analysis was used to construct discursive interpretations of the meanings of the participants’ career transitions. The study found that Joe exhibited characteristics of a person who never felt part of the schooling community, failed to engage in the rituals of a secondary school teacher discourse; and therefore never felt that teaching was the right fit for him. This is a single case. It is not possible to generalise the findings to all ‘tradees’ who have failed to launch—to those who have not made the transition to teacher. However, the findings do provide insights into the broader context of the recruitment and retention of tradees into initial teacher education programs.


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Surfers Paradise, Australia



Place of Publication

Alexandria, N.S.W.

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association. Conference

Parent Title

Proceedings of the 17th annual conference of the Australian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA 2014), Informing changes in VET policy and practice: the central role of research, 22-24 April 2014, Surfers Paradise, Queensland.