Eunice Kimaliro: Missed Opportunities: Educational change and teachers’ identities

University of Worcester logoFullan (2007,p.129) observed that ‘educational change depends on what teachers do and think’. However, the extent to which teachers influence educational change is implicated in levels of social suggestion (Katja et al 2008) encased in the contextual cultural scripts, the managerial discourse and the professional rhetorics (Ybema et al 2009,p302) that inform the professional landscape in which teachers’ identity is negotiated and constructed (Beijaard et al 2004). Their identity encompasses ‘beliefs, values and assumptions about teaching and being a teacher’ (Farell 2011.p, 55) that are ‘central to the practices, behaviors, and competencies that teachers exhibit in action’ (Prytula & Hellsten 2011:1) In this presentation, I will argue that:

• Identity, particularly professional identity, matters (Beauchamp & Thomas 2009).

• Identity construction is an opportunity for educational change (Ybema 2009, Cohen 2008)

• Context influences professional identity ( Day 2007,Katja et al 2008)

Using data from my ethnographic case study in a school in Kenya I will show how the construction of teachers’ professional identity could be understood as a missed opportunity and how meaningful educational change can be driven by ‘tapping into [teacher’s ] dignity and sense of respect’. Fullan (2007, p.44).

Download poster: Eunice Kimaliro CREST Symposium Poster 2013


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