Negotiating professional identity: vocational teachers' personal strategies in a reform context

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Title Negotiating professional identity: vocational teachers' personal strategies in a reform context
Author Vähäsantanen, Katja; Billett, Stephen Richard
Book Title Emerging Perspectives of Workplace Learning
Editor S Billett, C Harteis & A Eteläpelto
Year Published 2008
Place of publication Rotterdam
Publisher Sense Publishers
Abstract Recent studies of learning through work have included how professional identities are formed through participation in work. However, we need a more elaborated understanding of how professional identities are negotiated at times of rapid change in working practices. This chapter examines the personal strategies that vocational teachers adopt, and the professional identity negotiations that occur, in response to requirements to change professional practices. We report on a study in which open-ended narrative interviews were conducted with sixteen Finnish vocational teachers. From the teachers' accounts, we identified distinct personal strategies that were adopted to engage with change. The strategies were labeled as follows: (i) professional development, (ii) passive accommodation, (iii) active participation, (iv) a balancing act, and (v) withdrawal. The strategies were aligned to the teachers' individual concerns, and were bound up with the personal resources available in negotiating with the changing character of the work. An account of these strategies offers a new way of understanding how identities are negotiated through an active, personally-shaped process. The study also illuminates how to promote individuals' management of the self and of learning at work.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI
Alternative URI
Chapter Number 3
Page from 35
Page to 49
ISBN 978-90-8790-643-6
Date Accessioned 2008-10-12
Language en_AU
Research Centre Griffith Institute for Educational Research
Faculty Arts, Education and Law
Subject PRE2009-Other Education
Publication Type Book Chapters
Publication Type Code b1

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