This study gave ‘voice’ to 18 beginning teachers in Malaysia about their own teaching competences within their teaching profession through a phenomenographic investigation. The aim of the study was to discover what beginning teachers themselves conceive as competence in relation to what they did everyday as teachers. These beginning teachers were interviewed and the transcripts analysed to reveal how they conceived the phenomenon of competence. The results showed that beginning teachers’ conceptions of competence fell into five qualitatively different categories: (i) classroom and behaviour management, (ii) knowing subject matter, (iii) reaching out for assistance and support, (iv) understanding students and (v) possessing values of professionalism. This study could serve as a platform to further extend beginning teachers’ understandings of the teacher profession, and to provide them more possibilities to extend their competences to enable them to continuously develop and create opportunities for their own students.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/paulinesweechoo_goh/1/