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ERIC Number: EJ796064
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 21
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1389-2843
The Contrasting Discourses in the Professional Lives of Educators in Vancouver, Canada
Grimmett, Peter P.; Dagenais, Diane; D'Amico, Laura; Jacquet, Marianne; Ilieva, Roumi
Journal of Educational Change, v9 n2 p101-121 Jun 2008
This study investigated the relationship between education policy changes and the working conditions of teachers and school leaders in Vancouver, Canada. We found that policy does shape educators' discourse about their work conditions. This shaping manifested itself in the emotions teachers experience as they attempt to construct their identity as professional educators. Apparent contradictions emerged in educators' discussions of their work conditions, particularly their contrasting reports of feeling satisfied with their working environment, yet concerned about issues related to workload and recognition. Two different discourses, the political and the professional, emerged at a deep level of practice. These discourses express conflicting emotions about teaching and teachers' identity struggles in a context of rapid policy changes. The political discourse is framed around a partisan response to policy changes. The professional discourse focuses on engagement in satisfying educational activities. This study proffers a different conclusion to other studies implying a lack of understanding of practice by policy reformers. It suggests that, while teachers are very aware of policy changes, frequently engaging in a partisan critique thereof, they nevertheless temper that critique with a professional discourse shaped by pedagogical concerns in the local context. This concern with the classroom context enables them to focus their energies on constructing their sense of professional identity that frequently leads them to reinterpret policy initiatives from a local educator's perspective. While the political discourse has trappings of despair, the professional-pedagogical contains glimpses of hope.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Vancouver)