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Title: Reframing Black or Ethnic Minority teachers as role models
Author: Alexander, Patricia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 4821
Awarding Body: Goldsmiths, University of London
Current Institution: Goldsmiths College (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines how Black or Ethnic Minority (B.E.M.) teachers understand themselves to be, and position themselves as, role models to pupils with whom they share cultural or ethnic backgrounds. Most research concerns the appropriateness of male/female role models and few studies investigate teachers’ perspectives. A feminist poststructural lens is applied to problematise the ‘role model’ concept and considers how role model relations are formed and sustained. B.E.M. teachers’ identity positioning’s are contextualised within macro (socio-political/historical) and micro (pedagogical) power relations. The empirical data derive from in-depth semistructured interviews with seven established B.E.M. (male and female) teachers who self-identify as role models. These data are analysed as constitutive work revealing a range of discursive regimes. I develop the idea of shared discursive history to understand B.E.M. teachers’ identifications as role models and how these become part of their pedagogy. Shared discursive history has three inter-related dimensions: teachers’ understanding of their shared marginalised position; their performance of the ‘role model’ construct; and their deployment of cultural resources. This framework makes visible how B.E.M. teachers’ enactment of their role is entangled in culture and is gendered. The findings suggest that hegemonic role model discourses based on mimicry are contested and reconfigured in practice by B.E.M. teachers. Their knowledge of B.E.M. pupils is predicated on the view that, for B.E.M. pupils to self-identify as achievers, they need to be schooled in resistance strategies. The teachers’ pedagogical work as role models promotes pupils’ criticality regarding themselves as learners and hegemonic representations of B.E.M. people.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral