In favor of the mature-aged graduates (MAGs): tapping the potential for real educational change

Sirkka-Liisa Uusimaki

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Mature-aged graduates (MAGs) are characterised by significant life experience, includingcareer change and an altruistic desire to benefit their prospective students. They areparticularly well suited to the middle school environment with its focus on transitionand its often complex student needs. Despite this, MAGs are currently underservicedby existing teacher education programs. Their potential to deliver high-quality teachingis often not fully realised. Postgraduate teacher education programs with a middleschool focus must develop better ways to support these graduates and to harness theunique combination of life/work experiences and the altruism they bring to the teachingprofession. This study reports on a small cohort ofMAGs' experiences in a one-yearpostgraduate teacher education program focusing on middle schooling. Findings fromthis study suggest MAGs benefit from being part of an innovative workshop programrun in parallel to the Graduate Diploma program. Although the Graduate Diploma hadprovided them with significant challenges, the workshop impacted positively on participants'emerging middle school teacher identity. Inclusion in the workshop programencouraged fresh reflections about teacher identity and provided a supportive space thatenabled their understanding of the importance of middle school teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-338
Number of pages12
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


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