Science Technology Engineering Mathematics and Environmental Education Research Group

Re-imagining futures in STEME

Teaching out-of-field: Preparing adaptable teachers (TOPAT) 2013

Alarming numbers of early career teachers are expected to teach subjects they are not qualified to teach, that is, teach out-of-field. This project examines the curriculum of secondary teacher education programs in relation to a demand for adaptable early career teachers. Case studies of non-metropolitan teacher education programs and a survey of pre-service teachers in Victoria and New South Wales are used to focus on learning and identity shifts that participants expect will ensure successful boundary crossings into teaching and when teaching out-of-field, and difficulties that are expected to arise. These insights inform approaches to teacher education, and transition arrangements required for teachers as they begin teaching.

Team members:

  • Dr. Linda Hobbs,
  • Associate Professor Coral Campbell,
  • Professor Chris Hickey

Funding body: Deakin Central Research Grant Project, Deakin University Funding: 2013


  • Hobbs, L., & Campbell, C. (2015). Pre-service teachers’ perceptions of the support, challenges and opportunities associated with teaching out-of-field. In Leite, L., M.A. Flores, L.G Dourado, & S. Morgado (ed.) Transitions in teacher education and professional identities: Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference for the Association for Teacher Education in Europe, August 25-27, Braga, Portugal, pp.213-224.
  • Campbell, C., Porsch, R. & Hobbs, L. (Accepted Oct 3, 2018). Initial teacher education: Roles and possibilities for preparing capable teachers. In L. Hobbs & G. Törner (Eds.), Examining the Phenomenon of “Teaching Out-of-field”: International Perspectives on Teaching as a Non-specialist. Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Speldewinde, C., Hobbs, L., & Campbell, C. (2016). Straddling The Boundary: Early Career Teachers Adapting To Teaching Across Subject Disciplines. Paper presented to the annual meeting of the European Education Research Association, European Conference on Educational Research, Dublin, 23-26 August, 2016.