Eunice Kimaliro: Missed Opportunities: Educational change and teachers’ identities

University of Worcester logoFullan (2007,p.129) observed that ‘educational change depends on what teachers do and think’. However, the extent to which teachers influence educational change is implicated in levels of social suggestion (Katja et al 2008) encased in the contextual cultural scripts, the managerial discourse and the professional rhetorics (Ybema et al 2009,p302) that inform the professional landscape in which teachers’ identity is negotiated and constructed (Beijaard et al 2004). Their identity encompasses ‘beliefs, values and assumptions about teaching and being a teacher’ (Farell 2011.p, 55) that are ‘central to the practices, behaviors, and competencies that teachers exhibit in action’ (Prytula & Hellsten 2011:1) In this presentation, I will argue that:

• Identity, particularly professional identity, matters (Beauchamp & Thomas 2009).

• Identity construction is an opportunity for educational change (Ybema 2009, Cohen 2008)

• Context influences professional identity ( Day 2007,Katja et al 2008)

Using data from my ethnographic case study in a school in Kenya I will show how the construction of teachers’ professional identity could be understood as a missed opportunity and how meaningful educational change can be driven by ‘tapping into [teacher’s ] dignity and sense of respect’. Fullan (2007, p.44).

Download poster: Eunice Kimaliro CREST Symposium Poster 2013

References

1. Beauchamps, C. & Thomas, L.(2009) Understanding Teacher Identity: An Overview of Issues In the Literature and Implications for Teacher Education. Cambridge Journal of Education. Routledge. Vol. 39. No2. June 2009 175-189

2. Beijaard, D, Paulien, M. & Verloop, N. (2004) Reconsidering Research on Teachers Professional Identity. Teaching and Teacher Education.Vol.20. Issue (2) Feb. (2004) Pg 107-128.

3. Boreham, N. & Gray, P. (2005) Professional Identity of Teachers in Their Early Development. Early Learning Project. Research Report. University of Sterling.

4. Cohen, J.L. (2008). That is Not Treating You As A Professional. Teachers Constructing Complex Professional Identities. Teachers and Teaching. Theory and Practice, Vol. l4. No. 2. pp. 79-93.

5. Farell, T.S.C.(2011) Exploring the Professional Role Identity of Experienced ESL Teachers Through Reflective Practice. ELSVIER Vol.39. N0.1 PP 54-62

6. Fullan, M.(2007) The New Meaning of Educational Change. 4th Edition. Teachers College. Colombia.

7. Katja, V., Paivi, H., Etelapelto, A.,Rasku-Puttonen, H. &, Littleton,K.(2008) Teachers Professional Identity Negotiations in Two different Work Organizations. Vocations and Learning studies. Vocational and Professional Education. Vol.1 Issue 2. PP 131- 148.

8. Prytula M.& Hellsten (2011) Examining the Development Teacher Identity Through Cohort Induction Models in the Context of Reforms: Early data.. Conference paper. 2011 Las Vegas international Academic Conference

9. Ybema, S, Keenoy T, Oswick C, Beverungen, A, Sabelis, I. (2009) Articulating Identities. Human Relations. Sage 62; 299-322.