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Title: Teacher identities and agency : a study of the use of a persuasive life history approach in educational research
Author: Roach, Patrick
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2005
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The use of life history approaches in educational research has become increasingly fashionable. However, interest in exploring teachers' stories has met with resistance, largely, though not exclusively, on the grounds that some educational life history studies have prevented informed third party interrogation and validation. The life historian's interest in democratising the Academy has been thrown back onto the life historian with the charge that the life historian's practice has been undemocratic and unrepresentative. At the same time, the quest for `giving voice' in educational research has provoked a desire to critique the power of researchers in the production of educational knowledge and to interrogate the practices within the knowledge factory. This thesis provides a study of re-presentations in educational life history research. It examines critically previous scholarship and identifies a series of principles for the conduct of persuasive educational life history study. In exploring the use of a persuasive educational life history approach, this study applies a conceptualisation of persuasiveness which recognises the personal and political nature of educational research practice. The research takes as its starting point a particular interest in the lives of black men teachers. In advocating the pursuit of a persuasive life history approach, this thesis is presented in two volumes: volume 1 contains the main substantive thesis; volume 2 contains key materials to complement and underpin the arguments set out in volume 1. The form of representation applied here seeks to enable the reader to evaluate this research story and to participate in an extended dialogue about the reading of the teacher's life story presented here. The thesis lends credence to the contention that the teacher's professionality orientation, identity and agency are historically and biographically contingent whilst also reflective of formal and informal processes of professionalisation and institutionalisation. The study suggests that the process of understanding the teacher's professional identity and agency is contingent upon the contexts in which story telling occurs. The study argues that teaching and research practice should provide space for self re-presentation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: National Association of Schoolmasters (Great Britain) (NASUWT)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: LB Theory and practice of education