Local Initiatives for Teacher Shortages in Dutch Primary Education: An Exploratory Study of Problem Definition, Solutions and Experiences
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Despite national measures to curb the teacher shortage, the shortages in Dutch primary education are increasing. This forces local-level stakeholders, such as schools or school boards, to come up with own solutions to increase the inflow and limit the outflow from the profession. This multiple case study is the first to explore and systematically map these local initiatives for primary education in the Netherlands in a within-case analysis of four cases, using document analysis and semi-structured interviews. The initiatives concern working in learning teams, secondary education (SE) teachers who teach pupils in primary education, SE students who assist primary school teachers and educative day programs of specialists. Following from the within-case analysis, these initiatives are described on problem definition, design of the initiative and stakeholders’ experiences. Findings show that initiatives vary widely on these three pillars, depending on the context they are operating. This makes the success of one-size-fits all national initiatives questionable and requires more alignment with local needs. Outcomes of this study and further research will allow schools, policymakers and the Inspectorate of Education to make informed decisions on what existing initiatives show promise, which should be avoided and possibly also what regulations should be adapted.