Socio-mapping and the relational resilience of and for training teachers

Fox, Alison; Sida-Nicholls, Kate and Loe, Rob (2022). Socio-mapping and the relational resilience of and for training teachers. In: Fox, Alison; Busher, Hugh and Capewell, Carmel eds. Thinking critically and ethically about research for education: Engaging with people’s voices for self-empowerment. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 133–154.



Early career teacher attrition is an international concern. Trainee teachers come from diverse backgrounds, with different ages and motivations. English post-graduate teacher training programmes are a year-long and intense, with time split between placements in schools and study in a training provider setting. This chapter reflects on one element of a research and development project commissioned by a large School-Centred Initial Teacher Training Provider (SCITT) in England to examine the social dimension to trainee needs and support. The focus is to evaluate, methodologically and ethically, the role of a socio-mapping tool developed for use with trainees to reveal their social networks. This book chapter draws on two years of data collection, involving 352 maps from 189 trainees. Trainees’ personal networks are concluded to be important to make explicit and discuss. This helps understand an individual’s relational resilience and how this might contribute to their successful entry into the profession. The challenges discussed in this chapter include how best to capture data to benefit both the wider project and individual trainee participants. Key issues included decision-making around trainee recruitment to the project, clarity about who owns the data, under what circumstances it was best generated and how it might be used.

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