The practice of newly qualified teachers induction: A case study of a national secondary school in Kenya.

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Susan Namelefe

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Iffat Farah


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


The terms 'reality shock", 'sink or swim' have been used to describe the initial experiences of newly qualified teachers (NQTs). Compared to other professionals, NQTs experience a more difficult transition and the profession of teaching has been described as one that 'cannibalizes its young'. The shift from knowing about teaching through formal study to knowing how to teach by confronting the challenges of classroom is seldom smooth. This study focused on this critical stage of transition from pre-service training to teaching, an area of growing interest among education researchers. It examines the practice of NQTs induction in a public national secondary school in Kenya. The focus was on policies for NQTs induction, the experiences of the NQTs and the role of school leadership in induction. Review of literature reveals considerable progress with some countries having used research findings to develop NQT induction programs specific to their contexts. Though focus and approach differ, NQTs induction programs have components that include orientation, adjustment to schools, mentoring among others that, coalesce to form the 'best practice' in NQTs induction. However, there are gaps in research on context specific experiences of new teachers and on induction policies specifically in the context of East Africa. The study employed a qualitative approach using a case study design. Participants consisted of the school principal, heads of departments and NQTs (less than five years of service). Data was collected using interviews and document analysis Findings show that policy to guide the practice of NQTs induction is weak. The practice of induction within the school is informal, mainly located at the departments and low engagement of the school principal in monitoring the practice. There are varying experiences of induction for NQTs. This study is significant to education since it brings in critical information about NQTs induction in the context of a national school; it could inform the design and management of NQTs induction programs. Among the recommendations is the need for development of comprehensive policies to underpin NQTs induction and the need for comparative case studies to understand NQTs induction in different contexts.

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