What teaching does to teachers: The effects on teachers of the actions of the education system.

Year: 2007

Author: Overton, Jenny

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper reports on findings from a PhD study entitled Teacher identity and power in contexts of educational change: A case study of teachers (2006). The focus of the paper relates to findings about what happens with, for and to teachers in contexts of change, with particular reference to the affects of the actions of the education system on teachers. The researcher interviewed eight teachers about issues related to how change affected them. A three tiered analysis process was utilised, employing a narrative, a grounded theory approach to arrive at three themes of change, power and identity, with their accompanying categories and sub-categories, and a discourse analytic approach using Gee's (1999) framework of 18 analytical questions. It utilised the notion of 'identity' as a tool for investigating teachers. The findings discussed here reveal the affects on teachers of the actions of the education system (in this case the Tasmanian state government education department). It highlights that teaching does something to teachers , and in this study, the actions of the education system and/or its agents, put the teachers at risk of eroding the sense of goodwill that has existed between teachers and the education system.