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ERIC Number: EJ778270
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Nov
Pages: 20
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-0268-0939
Too Emotional to Be Capable? The Changing Nature of Emotion Work in Definitions of "Capable Teaching"
Hebson, Gail; Earnshaw, Jill; Marchington, Lorrie
Journal of Education Policy, v22 n6 p675-694 Nov 2007
This article uses the concept of emotional labour to understand some of the changes that are ongoing in the teaching profession. While research has explored the impact of the new performance culture upon teachers' work and identified a marginalisation of the caring and emotional aspects of teaching, the concept of emotional labour allows us to extend this argument. Using interviews with teachers who have had their capability questioned, in the majority of cases through the threat or implementation of capability procedures, this article draws upon newer conceptualisations of emotional labour to analyse some of the changes teachers are experiencing with the introduction of new accountability and performance systems. Utilising Bolton's typology of different forms of emotion management in the workplace, we argue it is possible to recognise the distinctiveness of the emotion work carried out by teachers and identify why teachers' emotion work is particularly vulnerable to the educational reforms associated with the standards agenda. We suggest that not only is there a shift away from the caring aspects of teaching, but also the emotional work teachers are expected to perform is becoming increasingly prescribed in ways that mirror the management of emotional labour carried out in the service sector. This is particularly the case in the primary sector where the majority of teachers in the study were working. (Contains 2 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)