October 2008 was the the book titled Newly Qualified Teachers in Northern Europe - Comparative Perspectives on Promoting Professional Development published. The book written by the NQTNE-partners and is edited by Göran Fransson and Christina Gustafsson.
In the book newly qualified teachers´ working conditions and systems of support and promotion of professional development, are analysed from a variety of perspectives and levels of analysis. The authors are researchers and teacher educators from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. All of them are members of the network Newly Qualified Teachers in Northern Europe (NQTNE).
Aims and audience
The main aim of this book is to offer opportunities to a better understanding of newly qualified teachers´ working conditions, their professional development, and systems promoting their professional development in the northern European countries, that is: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. However, this could be done in many ways. The way we have chosen throughout this book is to have a comparative perspective in focus and vary the level of the analyses.
The chapters are focusing the growth of the systems promoting professional development; the organization of these systems; detailed analyses of the content of these systems where especially mentoring is highlighted, and the very individual level with individual narratives. In all this, networks and networking are key words and the knowledge created and exchanged. In chapter three induction is focused on the national system level, while in chapter four ( mentoring as a system and activity within an induction system is focused. Chapter five focuses different approaches like how to conceptualize, organize and “perform" mentoring on a project level, and in chapter six the individual level is focused by analyzing narratives from newly qualified teachers. Chapter two and chapter seven do have focus on the meta-level of the process doing networking, both within NQTNE and in other contexts.
This means that the present book not only can show new and unique knowledge concerning new teachers´ professional development, their working conditions, and systems promoting professional development, but also knowledge about possibilities and difficulties to organize interactive knowledge systems between individuals, municipalities, and nations to understand or to promote newly qualified teachers´ professional development or doing research. However, as this is a field under development and the way to conceptualise and organise things change — and even if we carefully have selected data and given the analysis great attention — we can never avoid the fact that it is impossible to a fully extent give justice to all nuances and details or possible interpretations. This is valid especially when having a comparative perspective. To make it even more complicated, the obvious fact that teachers´ working conditions and experiences vary depending on the contexts and the interpretations makes it impossible to expect conclusions as: “This is how it is"! From this point, the present book gives some perspectives but does also open for further investigations and interventions. Therefore, the audiences of this book are many. We hope that the contents can be of great value for researchers, teacher educators, school leaders, trade unions, municipality administrators, politicians on different levels in the community, and of course, prospective teachers.