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Title: A socio-cultural perspective on the teacher identities of Hong Kong Primary English teachers : the fractal selves
Author: Chiu, A. S.-M.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis explores the teacher identity of Hong Kong primary English teachers through the sociocultural lens with a focus on emotions. Its origins come from an observed contrast in the status and professionalism of these Chinese English teachers, and native English speaking teachers. The local literature of teacher identity is dominated by analyses of Western teacher identity, very little research exploring or utilising eastern principles or practices. The study examines the way six Chinese informant-teachers envision their teacher identity as well as the contexts by which their teacher identity is influenced. Data are collected primarily through interviews which are supplemented with observations with the six English teachers from four different primary schools. Analysed through grounded theory, data reveal that teachers envision their teacher identity through their responsibilities and teacher image. This teacher identity is influenced by informants’ past socio-historical context as well as the micro, meso and macro levels of the current educational setting. The research has illustrated the complexities of how Chinese teacher identity is constructed on both the intrapersonal and interpersonal planes through emotions. One’s cognitive interactions on the intrapersonal plane and social activities on the interpersonal plane interact with each other through the elucidation of emotions and form one’s teacher identity. The self is a thesis, and when it encounters the ‘large self’, or social world, the self expands into a ‘new thesis’; the result is a compilation of the new thesis onto the current one. Through this process, individual teachers’ appear to build a fractal self that complies previous social experiences with current ones. The individual’s fractal self is in situ of and extends into the ‘large self’ whose profile and shape bear resemblance to that of the individual fractal self. This highlights the uniqueness of the Hong Kong Chinese teacher identity which contrasts with the western framework of identity construction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available