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Primary teacher identity, commitment and career in performative school cultures
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|Title: ||Primary teacher identity, commitment and career in performative school cultures|
|Journal: ||British Educational Research Journal|
|Issue Date: ||Oct-2008 |
|Abstract: ||The research reported here maps changes in primary teachers' identity, commitment and perspectives and subjective experiences of occupational career in the context of performative primary school cultures. The research aimed to provide in-depth knowledge of performative school culture and teachers' subjective experiences in their work of teaching. Themes in the data reveal changed commitments and professional identities. The teachers who had an initial vocational commitment and strong service ethic were the older teachers in the sample. While some of the younger teachers expressed vocationalism in the form of wanting 'to make a difference', they also stressed the importance of time compatibility for family-friendly work and child care. In the 'highs' and 'lows' of school life a number of factors supported some of the teachers' initial commitments, thus, providing 'satisfiers' in their work. However, some factors impacted negatively on teacher commitment. The psychic rewards of teaching provided the main basis of commitment and professional work satisfaction. Teacher strategies in performative school cultures highlighted the impact and saliency of testing regimes. There was evidence, however, of teacher mediation of policy and their investment in a more creative professional identity in their involvement in nurturing programmes and creative projects. Whether the schools and teachers developed creative approaches to increase test scores or to ameliorate the worst effects of testing they demanded increased effort and commitment from the teachers. Teachers in the contemporary context, who had in many cases experienced a career in another occupation prior to teaching, seemed much more adept and realistic in both recognising and managing their range of parallel commitments and identities. They have become more strategic and political in defending their self-identities. Some evidence suggests their priorities have been to hold on to their humanistic values and their self-esteem, while adjusting their commitments.|
|Appears in Collections: ||Research papers from the School of Education|
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