Surveys

Surveys

Please note the surveys are Not to be used without permission. For permission to use these surveys please contact Professor Diane Mayer at diane.mayer@sydney.edu.au

Survey development

Survey of teacher education graduates in their first years of teaching.
The initial graduate teacher and principal surveys were designed to collect teacher demographic information such as age, gender, ethnicity, teacher education program completed, university of completion, school location, and responsibilities within the school. The questions also covered motivation for selecting teaching as a career, and any prior occupation. These data formed a set of independent variables to inform inferential statistical analysis. Subsequent surveys were developed in response to data gathered from earlier rounds. The qualitative data generated by the case studies provided a valuable point of reference for the analyses of the data collected in the surveys.

National and international survey instruments informed question construction. These included:

To provide information on early career teacher preparation and expectations, questions were framed around themes of curriculum, collegiality, catering for diverse learners, pedagogy, assessment, behaviour management, professional ethics, relationships with students, ongoing professional learning, and engagement with school stakeholders and local community.

Each subsequent survey had the advantage of being informed by the data from the immediately preceding surveys of teachers and principals, and from the case studies. These data were used to refine survey questions and to develop new ones that enabled the exploration of graduate teachers experiences identified as their time from graduation progressed. Although there was some variation in the questions asked in each survey, a number of key questions were constant to enable analysis of trends across the duration of the study.

The survey of the school principals collected descriptive data on the school, its students and community, and data on the responsibilities of the early career teacher. Likert-scale questions were asked of principals’ perceptions of graduate teacher performance across the themes identified above. The survey data from principals was merged with that of their graduate teachers to complete analyses using school characteristics and perceptions of teacher performances as variables in the research.

The Sample

The main target population was teacher education graduates newly registered/credentialed as teachers with the Victorian Institute of Teachers (VIT) or the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) between October 2010 and February 2012. The secondary target population was the school principals in those schools where these graduate teachers were employed.

Identification of the main target population is drawn from VIT and QCT databases. Newly registered graduate teachers were invited by QCT and VIT to participate in the Graduate Teacher Survey. The research was also publicised through teacher professional associations and publications, education department circulars and university alumni networks. To promote data matching for all surveys within the study (and to eliminate over-sampling that may occur through the aforementioned avenues of contact) respondents were asked to enter identifying information that was later removed.

The secondary target population was principals of schools who employed the graduate teachers who had responded to the teacher survey. Therefore the total number of principals asked to participate in the Principal Survey was dependent on the number of responses to the graduate teacher survey, with the exception of Round 1 which was open to all principals so as to capture base-line data about principal perceptions of graduate teachers’ effectiveness. Media advertisements were sent out through various principal associations and appeared in school circulars. Principals were asked to comment on the preparedness of the graduate teachers, the types of support offered to them in schools and the challenges the teachers faced.

Permission to conduct research in schools was sought and given from education departments in each jurisdiction. Permission to conduct research in schools in Catholic dioceses was given from all relevant Catholic Education Offices. For more information click here.

Once permission was granted, a letter was sent to all principals in the sample with an invitation to participate, an information sheet about the survey and a web-link to a copy of the permission letter from the relevant authority for the research team to approach schools. This letter was followed up with an email containing the same information one week later. A further reminder email was sent to principals one week before close of the survey, and follow-up phone calls were made to some principals available by phone.

User testing

A convenience sample of four graduate teachers and one preservice teacher were selected to user test the initial Graduate Teacher Survey. It was then sent to 30 randomly selected 2010 graduates in Queensland and 24 2010 graduate teachers from Victoria. Nine responses were received. Overall, the responses showed that questions wording and response categories were appropriate.

User testing also informed refinement of the initial Principal Survey. One deputy principal, two acting deputy principals and two ex-principals were involved in this process. The Principal Surveys (Rounds 1-3) are provided below.

The State-wide pilot

A pilot study was conducted to ensure the quality of the research instrument. In December 2011, the Graduate Teacher Survey was piloted with 3,074 teachers newly registered by the Queensland Council of Teachers between late 2010 and early 2011. The survey was open 2-16 December, 2011 with one reminder sent on 9 December, 2011. The total number of responses was 145. The overall response rate for the population was 4.7 per cent.

The timing of the pilot is presumed to be the biggest factor influencing response rates, especially for those in employment. The initial invitation was sent one week before the end of term for Queensland teachers and the reminder date, 9 December, was the last day of school for Queensland government schools – non-government schools were already on holidays with some schools breaking up as early as late November. For the teachers that were contacted using their work email address many may not have seen it in time to respond. The timing of this pilot so late in the year was unavoidable given the progress of relevant contract securement and ethical approvals.

Overall the pilot survey responses show useful data in addressing the key issues of the study. Thematic analysis of the free text responses showed respondents understood the nine questions and entered a wide variety of responses, indicating that open-ended questions are the best approach to collecting data for these areas.

State-wide implementation

The sequence of surveys is set out as follows:

    • Piloting of surveys
      • October 2011: User testing of the Teacher and Principal Surveys (Round 1)
      • December 2011: Pilot Teacher Survey (Round 1) state-wide pilot in Queensland
      • March-April 2012: Pilot Principal Survey (Round 1) selected Principals in Queensland
    • Round 1 Teachers
      • March-April 2012: Teacher Survey (Round 1) all 2010/2011 graduate teachers registered in Victoria and Queensland
    • Round 1 Principals
      • May 2012: Principal Survey (Round 1) all principals of schools located in Victoria and Queensland
    • Round 2 Teachers
      • October 2012: Teacher Survey (Round 2)
    • Round 2 Principals
      • November-December 2012: Principal Survey (Round 2) all principals of 2010/2011 teacher education graduates who responded to the October survey
    • Round 3 Teachers
      • March-April 2013: Teacher Survey (Round 3)
    • Round 3 Principals
      • April-May 2013: Principal Survey (Round 3) all principals of 2010/2011 teacher education graduates who responded to the March 2013 survey
    • Round 4 Teachers
      • March-April 2014: Teacher Survey (Round 4)

Each of the quantitative and qualitative components of the study produces stand-alone findings, with the case studies and the mapping of initial teacher education programs informing survey analysis.

Please note the surveys are Not to be used without permission. For permission to use these surveys please contact Professor Diane Mayer at diane.mayer@vu.edu.au


SETE Graduate Teacher Survey Round 1

Open March-April 2012 to all teacher education graduates (those who graduated in 2010 and 2011) newly registered with the Victorian Institute of Teachers (VIT) or the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) between October 2010 and February 2012.


SETE Graduate Teacher Survey Round 2

Open October 2012 to all teacher education graduates (those who graduated in 2010 and 2011) newly registered with the Victorian Institute of Teachers (VIT) or the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) between October 2010 and February 2012.


SETE and LTEWS Graduate Teacher Survey Round 3

Open March-April 2013 to all teacher education graduates (those who graduated in 2010 and 2011) newly registered with the Victorian Institute of Teachers (VIT) or the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) between October 2010 and February 2012.


SETE Principal Survey Round 1

Open May 2012 to all principals across Queensland and Victoria


SETE Principal Survey Round 2

Open November-December 2012 to all principals of 2010-2011 teacher education graduates who responded to the October 2012 SETE Graduate Teacher Survey.


SETE and LTEWS Principal Survey Round 3

Open April-May 2013 to all principals of 2010-2011 teacher education graduates who responded to the March 2013 SETE and LTEWS Graduate Teacher Survey.


SETE Graduate Teacher Survey Round 4

Open March-April 2014 to all teacher education graduates (those who graduated in 2010 and 2011) newly registered with the Victorian Institute of Teachers (VIT) or the Queensland College of Teachers (QCT) between October 2010 and February 2012.