ERIC Number: ED395921
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996
Becoming Political: A Dimension in Teachers' Professional Development. A Micropolitical Analysis of Teachers' Professional Biographies.
Kelchtermans, Geert; Vandenberghe, Roland
This study examined 10 elementary school teachers' narratives of their teaching experiences to determine the political aspects of that development, particularly the processes of control, power, dominance, conflict and ideology that interacted with the teacher's developing sense of the working conditions necessary for proper job performance. Data were collected using cumulative biographical interviews, participant observation in classrooms, and document analysis. Through different cycles of interpretive close reading, fragments in the career stories with political relevance were analyzed. The resulting data were compared to develop a categorization of the interests in terms of working conditions and a conceptual scheme to unravel the political meaning of the professional biographies. Professional interests that teachers worked for in their professional behavior were categorized as material, organizational, social, cultural-ideological, and self-interests. The analysis showed that every situation in which a teacher becomes conscious about its micropolitical aspects can be conceptualized in terms of the perceived power position: the subjective perception of one's position on a continuum of power-powerlessness. This continuum depends upon the teacher establishing the working conditions perceived necessary for proper job performance. The perceived power position is operationalized by three aspects of that position: the experiential, related to job satisfaction; the operational, related to ability to change the situation; and knowledge, related to political acuteness. (Contains 31 references.) (JPB)
Descriptors: Careers, Case Studies, Elementary Education, Elementary School Teachers, Foreign Countries, Higher Education, Personal Narratives, Political Influences, Politics of Education, Power Structure, Professional Development, Quality of Working Life, School Culture, Teaching Conditions, Teaching (Occupation)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, April 8-12, 1996).