Research methodology and background

Research methodology

This research and analysis were performed by Tricky Jigsaw to deliver an actionable model and compass for the department.

As self-instigated transitions make teachers satisfied and unsatisfied needs particularly salient, Tricky Jigsaw recruited teachers who instigated a recent change in their professional life. These were teachers who:

  • Undertook additional training or education (19%)
  • Retired (4.8%)
  • Sought new role beyond DoE (19%)
  • Sought new role or position within DoE (57.1%)

Research participants were interviewed one-on-one with the ethnographic ‘switch interview’ methodology in which participants are invited to unpack the story, drivers and blockers behind the recent change in their professional life.

The findings were complemented with a range of background reports, academic research and previous research from the department (below).

Secondary research sources

The OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey Results - OECD (2013)

Understanding Work in Schools: The Foundation for Teaching and Learning - NSW Teachers Federation (2018)

Principal Workload and Time Use Study - NSW Department of Education (2017)

The Professional Life Cycle of Teachers - Michael Huberman (1989)

Research participants

Teachers were sourced from high schools, primary schools and special needs schools across urban, suburban and rural areas around NSW.

These teachers held a range of roles at varying stages of their careers and interacted with the department with different levels of engagement, including permanent, casual and temporary contracts.

Twenty-four teachers were interviewed for the research. Academic research¹ demonstrates that it provides the department with a 98 per cent confidence that any pattern impacting more than 15 per cent of teachers has been detected.

1. Andrew JB Fugard & Henry WW Potts (2015). Supporting Thinking on Sample Sizes for Thematic Analyses: A Quantitative Tool, International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 18:6, 669-684, DOI: 10.1080/13645579.2015.1005453
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