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The influence of teacher media images on professional teacher identities

Kirby, DC; (2016) The influence of teacher media images on professional teacher identities. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study is a life history exploration into teachers’ responses to representations of teachers in media (television, film and reality documentaries), and the influence media have on the construction of professional teacher identities including teachers’ relationships with their students as part of their daily practice. Few studies have been carried out from the perspective of British teachers using narrative research methods. This research uniquely addresses teachers’ reactions to the reality documentaries that have recently emerged based on teachers and schools, many of which have been located in the UK. The research was conducted in my own school, a girls’ comprehensive secondary school in London, with a mixed sixth form from 2012 to 2014. 17 teachers were interviewed in depth, twice each, concluding with 7 of them for focus group interviews. The research showed that teachers reflect on their professional identity using teacher images in media as a stimulus in their narratives. The research demonstrated evidence of teachers developing their narratives from the start to the end, and some sticking to scripted, although rich, narratives throughout the research. Other sides to professional teacher identities also emerged including the performing nature necessary to be a teacher. Professional teacher identity, as well as pedagogy and practice, were heavily influenced by their teacher-student relationships, and it was the teacher-student relationships that were commonly noted in film, TV and reality documentaries. Teachers were able to recognise various teacher images in media, but some emotional responses surfaced, especially from teachers in the process of resigning from the school. Finally, in this study, the images that resonate in teachers’ minds do not include images from previous generations, thus teachers are much less conscious of the heritage of teacher images in media.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The influence of teacher media images on professional teacher identities
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1519713
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