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Title: Towards an understanding of the construction of the professional identity of vocational further education college teachers
Author: Smithers, Mark Richard
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 0635
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis presents findings of a research project that was carried out within the field of Further Education (FE). The broad aim of the study was to gain a greater understanding of the professional identity formation process that vocational FE teachers undergo as they progress from the role of industry practitioner to teacher. The thesis develops and builds upon Robson's work and seeks to answer her 'call' for a better understanding of this complex identity development process that FE teachers undergo. In order to realise this aim, practising vocational FE teachers were interviewed across four different general FE colleges located in the south east of England. Responses were analysed using Illeris' (2011) theories of workplace learning. The findings of the study were grouped together to form themes and then distilled to establish how vocational FE teachers view their identity and what the key influences on the identity formation process were. The thesis presents two key assertions about the professional identity formation process. This study concludes firstly, that contrary to previous studies, formal initial teacher training is not highly valued by vocational FE teachers, it is placed second to experiential work-place learning on the job with the support of practitioner peers. This learning process, instigated by the practitioners themselves, involved various types of networking with peers and was encouraged by managers. Secondly, Illeris' workplace learning theory can be used as a lens to explain the rich learning process and the key elements that contribute to the formation of vocational FE teachers' professional identity. Professional identity formation takes place in a learning space influenced by workplace production, the individual, work practice and the community within the workplace. The work suggests that these findings make a contribution to knowledge in the field of FE and should be used to inform future discussions concerning the professional formation of vocational FE teachers and the development of their practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available