10 SES 07 C, Research on Professional Knowledge & Identity in Teacher Education
Recent data on teachers’ profile has raised attention to the fact that teaching staff in some European countries is going under intense process of ageing (OECD, 2018). In Portugal, 38% of teaching staff from non-tertiary education is currently over 50 years old. In twenty years of the country’s history, working time has increased in an average of 10 years. In such scenario, one can observe that Portuguese teachers face situations of instability, sometimes, embarrassment, and demotivation. We identify part of this demotivation as deriving from the generational difference between teachers and their students, which is emphasized by the digital familiarities that current students portray. Besides, teachers and students opposing interests, languages and reasoning widen the gap of communication, frustrating, at many levels, the hypothesis for dialogue. Concerned with these specificities, we have been working in a research project focused on teachers over 50-year-old, trying to empower their agency, in the Portuguese context, through the integration of technology in their everyday practice. In this communication, we address the problematization of teaching ageing, focusing on the systematization of an extensive literature review of what it means to be an aged teacher and what challenges emerge from within this experience. Therefore, we approach how teachers ageing has been depicted by literature, through different lenses, exploiting that there is not even a common sense about the concept, frequently referred to as «veteran teachers», «experienced teachers», or «highly experienced teachers» (Cohen, 2009; Billie, 2009, Day & Gu, 2009; Thorburn, 2014; Veldman et al., 2016). Also, we pay particular attention to the available links between the ageing of teaching force and technology integration into education, analysing what factors work as drivers and constraints in the implementation of novelty in classrooms (Niederhauser & Stoddart, 2001; Ertmer, 2005; Giordano, 2007; Wong & Li, 2008; Plair, 2008; Orlando, 2014). As a sum up, our discussion provides insights on the role of change and professional development, considering the importance of teachers’ agency and the modes in which it can bridge the gap concerning the dialogue with students (Earle, 2002; Williams, 2003; OECD/SERI, 2010; Orlando, 2014).
The data mobilized for this communication derives from a research project entitled Rekindle+50 – Digital migrations and curricular innovation: giving new meaning to experience and rekindle teaching profession after 50. It is a 31-month funded project, involving two universities in Portugal, with focus on supporting 50 years old or older teachers in developing strategies for curricular innovation through the use of mobile technologies. In this communication, we provide insights from a broad literature review addressed on the problematization of teaching force ageing. The review departed from the conceptions around the idea of «veteran teachers», linking it to the concept of «technology». In a first stage, both terms, independently, were decisive to the selection of material available on EBSCO research database – no time constraints were defined. A primary systematization of the articles allowed us to realize main themes, nature of the studies and character of the subjects of research. In a second stage, only articles linking veteran teachers and integration of technology in the educational field were considered. The material was then submitted to content analysis (Ryan & Bernard, 2003) with the purpose of deeply perceiving the profile of veteran teachers as well as the dilemmas they face concerning the adoption of ICT. It is this secondary analysis the foundation for the current communication.
The project overview of the state of the art depicts a trend to identify veteran teachers as the ones who have worked for more than twenty years or the professionals who are at the end of their careers. There is a clear emphasis on how veteran teachers resist to change, although research also implies that the nature of this resistance has no straight connection to technology integration in the educational field. Actually, changing implies modes of culture and organization that sometimes do not match teachers’ beliefs, which is the reason why conflict emerges in a scenario of transformation. There is also evidence that teachers who value determined pedagogical approaches, as student-centred teaching, are more available to resource on ICT tools. Finally, our project review of literature points out that veteran teachers, and not only, tend to adhere to the integration of technology in their exercise when they realize it as a meaningful pedagogical tool, capable of adding value to professional development and students’ rapport.
Cohen, Rosetta Marantz (2009). What it takes to stick it out: two veteran inner‐city teachers after 25 years. Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, 15(4), 471-491. DOI: 10.1080/13540600903057252 Day, Christopher, & Gu, Qing (2009). Veteran teachers: commitment, resilience and quality retention. Teachers and Teaching: theory and practice, 15(4), 441-457. DOI: 10.1080/13540600903057211 Earle, R.S. (2002). The integration of instructional technology into public education: Promises and challenges. ET Magazine, 42(1), 5-13. Ertmer, P. A. (2005), "Teacher pedagogical beliefs: The final frontier in our quest for technology integration?". Educational Technology Research and Development, 53(4), 25–39. Giordano, V. (2007). A professional development model to promote internet integration into P-12 teachers' practice: A mixed method study. Computers in the schools, 24(3/4), 111-123. Niederhauser, D.S. & Stoddart, T. (2001). Teachers' instructional perspectives and use of educational software. Teaching and teacher education, 17, 15-31. OECD (2018). Education at a glance 2018: OECD Indicators. OECD Publishing: Paris. Orlando, Joanne (2014). Veteran teachers and technology: change fatigue and knowledge insecurity influence practice. Teachers and Teaching, 20(4), 427-439. DOI: 10.1080/13540602.2014.881644 Plair, Sandra Kay (2008). Revamping Professional Development for Technology Integration and Fluency. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 82(2), 70-74. DOI: 10.3200/TCHS.82.2.70-74 Ryan, G. W., & Bernard, H. Russel (2003). Techniques to identify themes. Field Methods, 15(1), 85-109. Thorburn, Malcolm (2014). ‘It was the best of times, it was the …’: subject aims and professional identity from the perspective of one veteran male teacher of physical education in Scotland. Teachers and Teaching, 20(4), 440-452. DOI: 10.1080/13540602.2014.881641 Veldman, Ietje, Admiraal, Wilfried, Tartwijk, Jan van, Mainhard, Tim, & Wubbels, Theo (2016). Veteran teachers’ job satisfaction as a function of personal demands and resources in the relationships with their students. Teachers and Teaching, 22(8), 913-926. DOI: 10.1080/13540602.2016.1200546 Williams, M. D. (2003). Technology integration in education. In Tan, S.C. & Wong, F.L. (Eds.), Teaching and Learning with Technology, pp. 17-31: An Asia-pacific perspective. Singapore: Prentice Hall. Wong, E.M.L. & Li, S.C. (2008). Framing ICT implementation in a context of educational change: a multilevel analysis. School effectiveness and school improvement, 19(1), 99-120.
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