01 SES 04 B, More Than an Education Professional: Teachers Spanning Therapy and Health
What brings people, who have trained themselves for a certain occupation for a number of years and have even begun to build a career in their field of training, to turn to additional professional training? This is the question that is the focus of this study. We are interested in teachers who have changed their occupation to a therapeutic occupation, albeit within the educational framework.
As a theoretical framework, the concept of "profession" is used, which has a number of unique characteristics:
- Ownership of differentiated knowledge
- Specific and lengthy training
- Expertise, which is recognized
- High degree of discretionary autonomy
(see, for example: Darling-Hammond, 1992; Hargreaves, 2000; Noordegraaf, 2007)
We believe that the therapeutic occupation contains more pronounced characteristics of profession than does teaching; choosing it lends a sense of higher value. This may explain the choice of teachers to change their occupation. The question of teaching as a profession is not new. The research literature tended to define teaching as a semi-profession (Indersoll and Perda, 2008). It seems to us that there is room to revisit the concept and its relevance, against the background of economic and social compensation, which concern not only teaching, but also the identity of teachers and the concept of the profession itself
(Mockler, 2013; Evetts, 2013; Glazer, 2018).
We maintain that the changes in educational policy in recent decades have affected teachers and made it difficult for them to persevere in their teaching.
- Ownership of knowledge in the areas of instructional content is no longer a teacher's advantage (Fourlong, 2013), obscuring their perception as experts and impairing their status;
- The discourse of rights strongly emphasizes those of the individual, including the child to be educated, preferring to focus on the individual rather than on the group (Manabu, 2008).
These two points must be viewed against the background of the change in public services in general, which requires public service workers to treat citizens as customers (Noordegraaf, 2007; Savoie, 1995).
The position of teachers vis-à-vis students and parents is very different from the hoped-for position laid out in the ancient teaching ethos - of the educated person having authority in society, as well as the most prominent social influence (Furlong, 2013; Hargreaves, 2000; Zembyals & Chubbuck, 2018).
This may lead experienced teachers to consider changing occupations. Individual therapy, unlike teaching in a large classroom, contains more pronounced professional components - social recognition of differentiated knowledge and expertise; this lends a greater sense of satisfaction and reward.
In different parts of the world, the departure of teachers is prominent in the first three years of their employment (Glazer, 2018; Johnson, Berg & Donaldson, 2005). Data on Israel reveal a similar picture (CBS, 2019), but a closer examination of the data reveals that the tendency to move to another framework within the same system is higher than the tendency to leave the profession altogether. This is also the case with comparative observation over time (CBS, 2019, p. 2).
The fact that there is a tendency to move to another framework within the system aroused our curiosity. This was joined by another trend, which Barbibay (in press) discusses in his research: the intensification of therapeutic discourse within the school.
Hence our research question regarding the choice of teachers to switch to therapeutic practice in the educational framework.
By examining the common denominators of personal motivations, we seek to offer a theoretical explanation for the phenomenon. By examining the common denominators of personal motivations, we seek to offer a theoretical explanation for the phenomenon.
This is a phenomenological qualitative study, which focuses on the phenomenon of teachers' choosing a therapeutic occupation within an educational framework. As lecturers at a teacher training college, we are witness to a phenomenon where some of our students, studying for a master's degree, come to the college for further professional training. Through them we reached our study participants, those who have already followed this track - from teaching to therapeutic practice, within schools. We were interested in knowing the motivation for making this change. What brings people who have already made one professional choice in the past, to add further training, and why specifically a therapeutic occupation? Using the "snowball" method, when one interviewee refers to a friend, we located 15 people who had previously studied in teacher training institutions and even practiced teaching for several years, then underwent additional therapeutic training. All were willing to share their personal experience with us, the explanation of their choice. The interviews were recorded and their transcripts were typed. The two researchers read the texts separately, and then held discussions on the main themes that were found common to the interview texts.
A reading of the texts raised three main and prominent issues which the interviewees cited as explanations for choosing to change their teaching occupation: A. The teacher's work is vague and frustrating, the therapeutic work - clear and satisfying. Example: When studying regular education classes, my friends and I did not understand how, in the end, we were going to become teachers from all this. When I moved to special education, a whole new world opened up for me, - There is a list of special needs, syndromes, disabilities ... every course was really clear - why we study it, what it relates to, what you are going to be - what exactly you will do. B. Society's attitude towards teachers is belittling and disparaging, whereas therapists are revered. Example: As a teacher you are part of the audience. The principal treats you like a subordinate. As a psychologist there is a prestige in the profession. Everything you say is treated with respect. The principal himself is your customer, he, too seeks advice. And so does the staff. C. Therapists in an educational organization share a sense of community and the development of a unique culture: Example: The whole thing about meeting the standard was impossible, for me at least (in the regular class). I work very badly in competitive conditions… in a therapeutic class. I'm together with my colleague in the classroom, we wrestle with obstacles together, but there is no loneliness or competition. These three topics focus on the components of professionalism: unique knowledge whose boundaries are clear; social appreciation and development of an internal professional culture. Our conclusion is that the therapeutic occupation in the school is a more professional occupation than the occupation of teaching.
Barbibay, I. Y. (Forthcoming). Blurring the line between education and therapy and it’s impact on educators. MA Thesis. Department of Humanities in a multidisciplinary Approach, Kibbutzim Seminar, Thesis moderator: professor Shai Frogel Central Bureau of Statistic (Israel) (2019). Internal Mobility and Leaving the System among Teaching Staff, 2000-2018. (Hebrew) Central Bureau of Statistic (Israel) (2019). Internal Mobility and Leaving the System among Teaching Staff, 2000-2018. (Hebrew) Darling-Hammond, L. (1992). Teacher professionalism. In: M.C. Alkin (Ed.), Encyclopedia of educational research. New York: MacMillan, pp. 1359-1366 Evetts, J. (2013). Professionalism: Value and ideology. Current sociology, 61(5-6), 778-796. Furlong, J. (2013). Globalisation, neoliberalism, and the reform of teacher education in England. In The educational forum (Vol. 77, No. 1, pp. 28-50). Taylor & Francis Group Glazer, J. (2018). Learning from those who no longer teach: Viewing teacher attrition through a resistance lens, Teaching and Teacher Education, 74, 62-71 Hargreaves, A. (2000) Four Ages of Professionalism and Professional Learning, Teachers and Teaching, 6-2, 151-182, DOI: 10.1080/713698714 Johnson, S.M., Berg, J.H. & Donaldson, M.L. (2005). Who stays in teaching and why: a review of the literature on teacher retention, The Project on the Next Generation of Teachers, Harvard Graduate School of Education. Manabu, S. (2008). Historical aspects of the concept of “compulsory education”: Rethinking the rhetoric of debates in current reform. Educational studies in Japan: International yearbook (3), pp. 65-84 Mockler, N. (2013). Teacher Professional Learning in a Neoliberal Age: Audit, Professionalism and Identity. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38(10). Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2013v38n10.8 Noordegraaf, M. (2007). From “Pure” to “Hybrid” Professionalism Present-Day Professionalism in Ambiguous Public Domains. Administration & Society 39 (6).761-785 Savoie, D.J. (1995). What is wrong with the new public management . Canadian Public Administration, 38 (1), pp. 112-121. Zembylas M., Chubbuck S. (2018) Conceptualizing ‘Teacher Identity’: A Political Approach. In: Schutz P., Hong J., Cross Francis D. (eds) Research on Teacher Identity. Springer, Cham. https://doi-org.ezproxy.haifa.ac.il/10.1007/978-3-319-93836-3_16
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