Career Plans of Novice University Teachers: The Research Perspective

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Abstract

Introduction: The career trajectories of young university teachers have been a relatively frequent research target in North American and Western European countries but an entirely neglected topic of the Czech and Slovak educational research. This paper’s ambition is to narrow the gap. The research goal is to describe one aspect of career advancement of young university teachers - their professional plans after their entry to an academic position at a university after completion of their doctoral studies.

Methods: This qualitative investigation was concentrated on a sample of ten young university teachers currently employed in Czech universities. The data were gathered through in-depth interviews, sound recordings were converted to written transcripts, and then open- and category coded.

Results: The findings show how the young teachers adapted to the workplace environment, how they struggled with the double roles in academia, i.e., an instructor and a researcher, and which personal decisions they made for the next years in employment. I was revealed how the desire to attain assistant professorship overwhelmed their professional, occupational and personal decisions.

Limitations: As concerns the limitation of the findings, the qualitative investigation went deeply into the thinking and decision making of the study participants but was unable to draft wide generalisations.

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