ERG SES C 02, PechaKucha Poster Session
Teachers in Ireland are at present taking industrial action in protest against curricular reforms, an action that reflects the poor relationship and ongoing tensions between policymakers and teachers and highlights some particularities in the Irish educational context that merit investigation. The proposed study adopts a feminist new materialist perspective (Hekman, 2010) to investigate the intra-actions (Barad, 2007) between teacher professional identity, education policy, teaching practices and education outcomes, and situates those intra-actions within European educational reform trends (Grek et al. 2013; Ozga, 2012).
A combination of factors have led in recent years to an increased focus on teacher professionalism in international education policy. These include the publication of the OECD’s report Teachers Matter (2005) and the McKinsey report How the World’s Most Improved School Systems Keep Getting Better (2010). In Ireland, these reports together with the policy crisis created by Ireland’s fall in the 2009 PISA league tables and the post-2008 economic recession created a “perfect storm” (Conway & Murphy, 2013) from which a clear policy impetus emerged towards improving teaching and teacher education standards. This crisis of confidence in Ireland’s teachers came after years of public contentment with the standard of education, whereby a dominant narrative claimed that the country’s world-class education system contributed to an excellent workforce that attracted inward investment and created economic growth.
However, against this dominant narrative, research has shown persistent social inequality in educational outcomes, a reluctance to embrace progressive education methods and a disparity between expressed teaching beliefs and actual teaching practices, leading to a characterisation of Irish education as a ‘rhetoric/reality dichotomy’ (Gleeson, 2012). The proposed study addresses the question of teacher identity in Ireland, asking how it is constructed, how it shapes and is shaped by education policy, and what the material effects of that dynamic is for education practices and for student outcomes.
The study will be guided by the following research questions;
- What are the processes at work in the construction of teacher identity in the Irish post-primary education context?
- How do teacher identities intra-act with education policy at different career stages and what are the implications of those intra-actions for the educational experiences of students?
- Where can the professional identity of teachers in Ireland be located in international trends around teacher professionalism, autonomy and agency? What conclusions can be drawn about the links between cultural and social contexts, teacher education and teacher identity?
In addressing the research questions, the study will be informed by the following aims and objectives;
- to critically analyse the professional identity of Irish post-primary teachers;
- to situate that identity within social, cultural, political and material contexts;
- to explore the interplay between teacher identity and education policy;
- to consider the implications of changing teacher identities for the profession and for the educational experiences of students.
By adopting a feminist new materialist theoretical framework, the study will explore the complex and multifaceted processes by which teacher identity is both constituted by and constitutive of social, political, cultural and material contexts of education. Using a biographic narrative method, the study will trace the development of teacher subjectivity at different career stages, with a particular emphasis on how current trends and discourses in national and international education policies operate within the professional identities of teachers at different ages and career stages.
Ballet, K., Kelchtermans, G. & Loughran, J. (2006) Beyond intensification towards a scholarship of practice: analysing changes in teachers' work lives, Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, 12:2, 209-229 Barad, K. (2007) Meeting the Universe Halfway: Quantum Physics and the Entanglement of Matter and Meaning. London: Duke University Press. Biesta, G., Priestley, M. & Robinson, S. (2015) The role of beliefs in teacher agency. Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, 21(6), pp.624–640. Biesta, G. (2015) What is Education For? On Good Education, Teacher Judgement, and Educational Professionalism. European Journal of Education, 50(1) Braun, A. et al. (2011) Policy enactments in schools introduction: towards a toolbox for theory and research. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 32(4), pp.581–583. Conway, P.F. & Murphy, R. (2013) A rising tide meets a perfect storm : new accountabilities in teaching and teacher education in Ireland teacher education in Ireland. Irish Educational Studies, 32(1), pp.11–36. Gleeson, J. (2012) The professional knowledge base and practice of Irish post-primary teachers : what is the research evidence telling us ? Irish Educational Studies, 31(1), pp.1–17. Grek, S. et al. (2013) Governing by inspection? European inspectorates and the creation of a European education policy space. Comparative Education, 49(4), pp.486–502. Hekman, S. (2010) The Material of Knowledge: Feminist Disclosures. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Jackson, A.Y. (2013) Posthumanist data analysis of mangling practices. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 26(6), pp.741-748 Lather, P. & St. Pierre, E.A. (2013) Post-qualitative research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 26(6), pp.629-633 Maguire, M. et al. (2014) “Where you stand depends on where you sit”: the social construction of policy enactments in the (English) secondary school. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 36(4), pp. 485-499 Mason, M. (2010) Sample Size and Saturation in PhD Studies Using Qualitative Interviews. Forum: Qualitative Sozialforschung, 11(3), Article 8 Mazzei, L.A. (2013) A voice without organs: interviewing in posthumanist research. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 26(6), pp.732-740 OECD, 2009. Creating Effective Teaching and Learning Environments: First Results from TALIS 2008 Ozga, J. (2012) Governing knowledge: data, inspection and education policy in Europe. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 10(4), pp.439–455. Wengraf, T. (2001) Qualitative Research Interviewing: Biographic Narrative and Semi-Structured Methods. SAGE.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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