Troubled Craft and Novice Teachers: An Ethnographic Account of Emerging Professional Identities of Novice Teachers in the English Lifelong Learning Sector

Prof Doc Thesis


Kidd, W. 2016. Troubled Craft and Novice Teachers: An Ethnographic Account of Emerging Professional Identities of Novice Teachers in the English Lifelong Learning Sector. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London Cass School of Education and Communities
AuthorsKidd, W.
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Abstract

In adopting a qualitative, ethnographically informed approach this thesis
explores the identity formation of novice teachers in the lifelong learning sector
in England. The research is concerned with four areas for inquiry: how novice
teachers perceive the relationship between their professional practices,
experiences and emerging teacher identities; the usefulness of the concept of
'craft' in sociological writings to theorise the identities of novice teachers; the
appropriateness of a digital ethnographic methodological approach enabling
effective research into teachers lives in this sector; and, the applicability of
online asynchronous blogging practices to support the development of the
professional practices by novice teachers in the lifelong learning sector in
England. The identity and pedagogic practices of these novice teachers are
contextualised by the ‘turbulent times’ for both the workplace of this sector and
the teacher education that supports entrants into this sector. The fieldwork for
the research follows two cohorts of new entrants into first-time employment
across an 18-month period. In developing an understanding of craft identities,
blogging practices are developed as a methodological tool within a digital
ethnographic approach, exploring the potential for this revised ethnography.
The use of reflective practices through online tools to generate data is
conceived herein as an ‘epistemology of doing’: a research practice that in turn
supports in an ethical way the lives and social practices of those who
participate. The findings of the thesis suggest (contrary to use of the term craft
by neo-liberalism) that novice teachers’ craft practice and craft identity are a
potentially stable basis for sustained practice in the otherwise turbulent lifelong
learning sector. However, this ‘stable basis’ also provides contradictions,
uneasy relations, compromises and insurmountable challenges when
buttressed against the performativity cultures of the sector.

KeywordsTeacher identity; teacher education; digital ethnography; vocational education; further education
Year2016
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.15123/PUB.5892
Publication dates
PrintNov 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited18 May 2017
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-NC-ND
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/84yyv

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