Stories of struggle and success: Teachers’ stories from within the teaching profession


Teacher attrition has been reported for over thirty years. During this time period attrition rates have not changed despite our awareness of the factors that contribute to teacher attrition. Yet despite knowing what we know about why teachers leave; we do not know why other teachers stay. What are the critical events these teachers have experienced that has challenged their decision to stay in the profession? What insights can we gain from their stories of their lived experiences that can better support teachers, whether preservice, beginning or experienced?

In this study I explore the stories of the critical events practicing high school teachers have experienced using a critical post-qualitative inquiry storying approach. Storying is a research approach, a research tool and a methodology which provides opportunity to hear the silenced and marginalised voices of teachers and explore the workplace in which they practice. A critical approach can provide insights into the culture of schools, their ways of doing and practicing, and the impacts of events and leadership decisions on teachers’ sense of self, of being a teacher, being a professional and being human within schools, and provide insights into the changes needed.

It is hoped that the insights gained will add to the literature and contribute to our understandings of teachers’ professional lives and lived experiences that may lead to improved teacher retention. The study may also provide insights into school cultures that can inform educational authorities and school leaders of the impacts policies and decisions have on the practice and well-being of teachers.


A/Prof Liz Mackinlay (Principal) and A/Prof Carmen Mills

Confirmation Panel

Dr Christina Gowlett(Chair) and A/Prof Garth Stahl.

About HDR Confirmation Seminars

The Confirmation Seminar is the first public presentation in the UQ milestone process.

Staff and students are urged to attend to support your colleagues at this first outing of their project.

All HDR candidates and advisors are welcome to attend the presentation via Zoom:
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Or Telephone:
     Dial: +61 2 8015 2088
     Meeting ID: 387 002 607
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Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: .

Or iPhone one-tap (Australia Toll): +61280152088,387002607#

Or Telephone:
Dial: +61 2 8015 2088
Meeting ID: 387 002 607
International numbers available: