01 SES 13 B, Professionalism and Professional Identity
Alternative schools display diverse theories and practices worldwide. They can be rooted in the early 20th century in Europe (where reform schools such as Montessori and Waldorf were established and spread worldwide). The first way of alternative schools might be identified in the beginning of the 20th century influenced by Elen Key´s century of the child. Modern alternatives since the 1990s have been informed by ideas of these schools such as learner-centered pedagogy and hands-on activity (Selman, 2017). Although evolving in different directions in different European conutries, new alternatives have much in common. They emphasize the development of self-concept, problem-solving, and humanistic approaches (Conley, 2002). An important feature is their definition compared to mainstream education.
The goal of the presented research is to understand the construction of narrative identities of teachers at selected alternative schools in the Czech Republic. In the Czech Republic, development of alternative schools was interrupted by second world war as in many European countries and by communist regime afterwards. This leads us to our research question on alternative schools which has mainly developed since 1990´s. The research question is what identities do teachers in alternative schools construct in their narratives? Narrative interviews with teachers at two alternative schools. The sample consits of teachers from two levels of education within a school: primary and lower secondary (ISCED 1 and 2), one school focused on an internationally established alternative programme (Step by Step) and the second school focused on a more eclectic alternative programme.
With respect to narrative studies, we focus on identity as a social construction. (De Finna, 2003). Identity is conceptualised in this research as a community-forming process where teachers, head teachers, parents, and pupils express and communicate ideas according to a shared set of principles and practices (Brown & Heck, 2018). Narrative identity is the sort of identity to which a human being has access thanks to the mediation of the narrative function (Ricoeur, 1991). Ricoeur’s (1991) use of the adjective “narrative” enriched the analytical approach to identity. In this project, we rely on the concept of narrative identities as more situational or "episodic" (Holler, 2013) and we examine them in relation to teachers. Identity is not a single stabilized entity that individuals acquire at some point in life; instead, one might enact different identities throughout different stages of life and through the different contexts one traverses (Park & Schallert, 2018) or even through dialogues during different situations within a day (Akkerman & Meijer, 2011). Identity is an ongoing process and it changes its form (Alsup 2006; Beijaard, Meijer, & Verloop, 2004). Thus, teacher identity is dynamic, multifaceted, negotiated and co-constructed (Edwards & Burns 2016).
Our project consists of multiple case study design (Yin, 2014). This approach enables to gather data and connect them according to the research goals. Selected sampling strategy for multiple case study is information-oriented selection (Flyvbjerg, 2006), as contextual knowledge may be more important for sampling than certain theory. We intend to conduct research in two different private alternative schools according to the context. The sampling strategy was led by these criteria: a) common cases of private alternative schools in the Czech Republic and in Europe (2 types of private alternative schools identified: “traditional Step by Step” and “eclectic“) b) type of cases for multiple case study: different cases according to a) c) size of the sample: two schools are maximum for in-depth study on primary and lower seconary level with various methods in established research team Narrative research on teacher identity does not represent a coherent methodological approach, rather it is a very diverse methodological practice. Research methods in this field consist are mainly represented by in-depth and narrative interviews (e. g. Cardelle-Elawar & de Acedo Lizarraga, 2010; Trent, 2017). As for our research methods, narrative interviews were used. For all narrative interviews, thematic narrative analysis was employed to investigate narrative identities. The essence of thematic narrative analysis is working with narrative data, where the primary attention is on what is said rather than how, to whom, or for what purpose. Holstein and Gubrium (2012) state that this type of analysis directs the researcher. Firstly, open coding was employed (cf. Charmaz, 2014; Corbin & Strauss, 2015) to code data segments. Secondly thematic narrative analysis mainly focused on coding stories was conducted. This approach generated case studies of individuals, groups, and typologies (Riessman, 2008). The data set of the multiple case study of two alternative schools consists of 10 narrative interviews with teachers, 6 teachers from the school 1 and 4 teachers from the school 2. To compensate for small samples, in-depth data is employed.
This research is still in progress. We have established two main categories of teacher identity: professional and personal. Within these two categories of identity, several sub-identities emerged. As for professional identity, it was sub-identity connected with diversity in classroom discourse, professional development and curriculum. As for personal identities, it was gender, age, parenting, culture, etc. Although described separately, it is obvious that these two categories of teacher identity interact. Construction of teacher identity might be viewed as continuous interplay of these identities and sub-identities. With respect to narrative analysis, process of identity construction seems to be influenced by many professional and personal factors in a lifelong perspective. As researched teachers work in alternative schools, their construction of “alternative” in the relationship towards mainstream schooling seems crucial. In terms of professional factors, teacher – students relationship and teacher – parents relationship seems to be a crucial tool for identity construction within alternative school context. Furthermore, teachers construct their identity towards individual needs of their students and team work within colleagues in the school. As for personal factors, parenting experience seems to be a tool which leads teachers towards thinking about their pedagogy and professional identity.
Akkerman, S. F., & Meijer, P. C. (2011). A dialogical approach to conceptualizing teacher identity. Teaching and teacher education, 27(2), 308-319. Alsup, J. (2006). Teacher identity discourses: Negotiating personal and professional spaces. London: Routledge. Beijaard, D., Meijer, P. C., & Verloop, N. (2004). Reconsidering research on teachers’ professional identity. Teachingand teacher education, 20(2), 107-128. Brown, R., & Heck, D. (2018). The construction of teacher identity in an alternative education context. Teaching and Teacher Education, 76, 50-57. Charmaz, K. (2014). Constructing grounded theory. Los Angeles: Sage. Cardelle-Elawar, M., & de Acedo Lizarraga, M. L. S. (2010). Looking at teacher identity through self-regulation. Psicothema, 22(2), 293-298. Conley, B. (2002). Alternative Schools: A reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc. Corbin, J. M., & Strauss, A. L. (2015). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. Los Angeles: Sage. De Fina, A. (2003). Identity in narrative. A study of immigrant discourse. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Edwards, E., & Burns, A. (2016). Language teacher–researcher identity negotiation: An ecological perspective. Tesol Quarterly, 50(3), 735-745. Flyvbjerg, B. (2006). Five misunderstandings about case-study research. Qualitative Inquiry, 12(2), 219–245. Ricoeur, P. (1991). Narrative identity. Philosophy Today, 35(1), 73–81. Riessman, C. K. (2008). Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences. Boston: Sage. Selman, K. J. (2017). Imprisoning ‘Those’Kids: Neoliberal Logics and the Disciplinary Alternative School. Youth justice, 17(3), 213-231. Trent, J. (2017). Discourse, agency and teacher attrition: Exploring stories to leave by amongst former early career English language teachers in Hong Kong. Research Papers in Education, 32(1), 84-105. Yin, R. K. (2014). Case study research: design and methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: 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
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.