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Title: 'I love teaching but I hate being a teacher' : how can effective teachers flourish?
Author: Holmes, John Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 8508 1347
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Much has recently been written about the challenging working conditions facing teachers, with many authors taking the view that such challenging working conditions are inevitable or, at the very least, beyond teachers' control. This study questions that assumption, asking whether it is possible for teachers to improve their working conditions without performing their roles any less effectively. It is a case study of a secondary school where teacher welfare has been a leadership focus, and aims to draw on the experience of teachers who are flourishing: teaching effectively and experiencing positive working conditions. The literature on teachers' working conditions, school effectiveness and flourishing teachers is reviewed and it is noted that judgements about the effectiveness of teaching are only possible when it is clear what aims are sought through schooling. This study makes use of Q-methodology to investigate the aims that teachers seek through teaching and how they think they can best pursue them; a questionnaire to investigate how well teachers' actual working patterns align with their ideals; and interviews to explore those areas that do not align. The findings show that, as predicted by the literature, teachers see the ends of education as those most closely related to the idea of helping children develop or learn. Teachers generally spend time on the tasks they consider most valuable for pursuing these identified ends, but they feel they spend too much time on some activities such as marking and data entry and not enough time planning or building relationships. The Academy's use of restrictive policies is identified as a cause for this suboptimal allocation of time and ways of reforming these policies are considered. Surprisingly, teachers accepted the necessity of restrictive policies and were unable to articulate other ways of working. It is argued that this acceptance is the result of a bounded imagination, prompted by the neoliberal, performative context in which teachers operate. This bounded imagination goes some way to explaining the perception that poor working conditions are inevitable, and ways of explicating and responding to it are priorities for further study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available