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Title: Mapping professional conceptions of learning futures : teachers and their professional identities in the knowledge economy
Author: Gray, S. L.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2004
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This dissertation is an exploratory study that examines teachers’ professional identities in the knowledge-based economy. It uses the UK as a case study. The dissertation theorises the research problem from a sociological viewpoint. First, it interrogates the concept of time in an educational context. It demonstrates that the organisation of time in schools can be complex, and is often used as a means of control. However, there can be misunderstandings between policymakers and teachers regarding the nature of this control. This leads to areas of conflict, and confusion about the role of teachers within society in general. Building on the idea that there appears to be a relationship between conceptions of time, and conceptions of social identity, the dissertation then explores the nature of professional identity. Traditionally, there has been little recognition of the wide range of social identities within the teaching profession. There has also been insufficient awareness of the changing role of vocation within teaching. This has had a negative effect on teacher recruitment and retention. There is then an account of the fieldwork phase of the research. Through the use of semi-structured interviews and an interactive survey, it has been possible to build up a picture of some views of education professional towards the future of their own profession. Three methods of data analysis have been used to explore this data. The dissertation concludes that the research participants painted a picture of a profession under siege, from a range of external bodies anxious to influence their professional practice. However, there are deeper issues to do with the role of youth within society. Rapid changes in teaching and learning patterns mean that many institutions are currently uncomfortable places for both pupils and teachers. Unless this is recognised, and changes to institutional structures made, there are grave implications for the future effectiveness of education delivery systems in the UK.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available