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ERIC Number: EJ1047650
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 68
ISSN: ISSN-0268-0939
The Politics of Teaching as an Occupation in the Professional Borderlands: The Interplay of Gender, Class and Professional Status in a Biographical Study of Trainee Teachers in England
Braun, Annette
Journal of Education Policy, v30 n2 p258-274 2015
A lack of esteem for teachers and the teaching profession is a central tenet underpinning policy reforms put forward by the 2010 UK Government White Paper "The Importance of Teaching". This article argues that the policy problem and solutions presented in the White Paper lack awareness of the historical and social positioning of teaching. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 32 London-based secondary teacher training students from various social class and ethnic backgrounds, this paper asks how the profession is perceived and what sort of choice it is for the trainees. It employs a Bourdieusian lens and concepts of social and cultural capital to examine the interplay of gendered, classed and "raced" biographies in relation to individuals' decisions to become teachers. Understanding the social world as "accumulated history", as Bourdieu does, stresses that experiences and outcomes are rooted and collected in a series of historical structures and functionings. The paper argues that the ambiguous status of the profession is both a function and an effect of its conceptualisation as feminised. It also asks whether the weak professional standing of teaching has further destabilising consequences in the present political moment where a string of neoliberal and neoconservative policy reforms reshape the profession.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)