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Title: The professional identity of teacher educators in higher education : the experience of motherhood
Author: Chambers, Jane
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 3415
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2017
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The dominant discourse concerned with the impact of being a mother on a woman’s professional career usually draws upon the language of limitations, constraints and glass ceilings. Motherhood is usually considered to inhibit a woman's career progression because women are distracted between separate spheres of activity; they spread time away from being an employee to include being a primary carer. Those working in the teaching profession are not immune to this constructed way of being and are also ill-defined in terms of their professional identity. Motherhood, however, is an enabling experience and shares a purposeful intent common with that of teaching; motherhood is an experience teaching can learn from rather than it disabling professional progression and development. Drawing upon phenomenological understandings of knowledge development and survey and interview methods of data collection from teacher educators working in a University's School of Education, findings from this enquiry indicate women considered their professional identity to have been influenced and enhanced by the experience of motherhood. Understandings of a teacher educator's professional identity were expressed in terms of relational, empathetic and value-led practice, which were expressions of their own personalities informed by motherhood. Whilst priorities had shifted as a result of becoming a mother, findings indicated teacher educators considered themselves to have become more reflexive and adaptable as a consequence of being a mother. Implications of this enquiry call for continuing professional development and return to work programmes to engage women in a dialogue about how motherhood benefits their professional identity and is an experience that should be celebrated in terms of career development rather than being accepted as a professional limitation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available