Influences on teachers’ professional identity in schools in challenging circumstances: an empirical study of Chilean primary teachers’ perceptions

Lozano, Maria F. (2017) Influences on teachers’ professional identity in schools in challenging circumstances: an empirical study of Chilean primary teachers’ perceptions. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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There are so far few attempts to understand the teaching occupation and the meaning of being a good teacher as understood by teachers, a central issue in the improvement of schools. This study explores Chilean teachers’ perceptions of their professional identities, since conflict and stress around questions of identity affect teachers’ emotional well-being, impacting their capacity to engage emotionally with students and the wider school community, and thus their capacity to provide significant learning experiences which are key elements of successful learning. On the contrary, positive leadership and sufficient intellectual and material resources for reflection and discussion on the situation of conflicts on teachers’ professional identities can trigger processes of personal and professional growth, enhancing professional identity meanings, and thus effectiveness in providing significant learning experiences.

To look at teachers through the lens of identity allows us to explore the combination of personal and contextual factors that affect their identities, bringing an understanding of teachers' perceptions about their identities and the contribution of other social actors to them in Chilean primary public schools.

In this vein, it is important to acknowledge that most teachers have strong motivations in choosing the occupation. These motivations are often related to their sense of vocation as well as their personal beliefs and values. In this context, teachers’ professional identity meanings are explored in underperforming schools by means of semi-structured interviews of twenty primary teachers. By a careful qualitative analysis, this study found different groups of influences that define these identities, shaping and re-shaping at least three professional identity profiles with consequences for teachers’ autonomy in professional judgements, agency and collegial relationships, and impacting their capacity to provide significant learning experiences.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Gu, Qing
Day, Christopher
Keywords: Teachers, professional identity, identity, commitment, vocation
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1705 Education of teachers
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 44553
Depositing User: Lozano Labra, Maria
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2017 04:40
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2017 18:40

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