Shifting identities: A mixed-methods study of the experiences of teachers who are also parents

Kell, Emma Louise (2016) Shifting identities: A mixed-methods study of the experiences of teachers who are also parents. Other thesis, Middlesex University.

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Abstract

This practitioner-based, mixed methods research explores the influence of parenthood on teacher identity; the challenges involved in combining the roles of teacher and parent, and the benefits of being a teacher-parent. Its original contribution lies in the combination of teacher-as-researcher perspective, its in-depth approach to an issue only fleetingly alluded to in policy literature, and its emphasis on providing a balance of male and female voices.

The aim of the research is to provide a framework which may inform future policies at local and national level and to provide practical advice and guidance for teacher-parents on maximising wellbeing and effectiveness in their dual role.

The research investigates the factors, at micro, meso, and macro level that affect teacher-parent identity as discussed in Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory (1979), and seeks, through a pragmatic approach, to identify school policies that are – or could be – effective in promoting the wellbeing and performance of teacher-parents.

The data is collected through an innovative and contemporary combination of research methods: focus groups at three maintained secondary schools in the London area, questionnaires, and ‘netnography’. Online discussion groups provide a wider context for the initial findings. Ethical factors, such as the role of power and hierarchy within the schools, the multiple roles of the researcher, and the issue of informed consent when dealing with sensitive information relating to minors and colleagues, have been taken into account and are critical to the integrity of the research.

This study concludes that, with the right combination of self-belief, pragmatism and support, it is possible to effectively balance teaching and parenthood, and that the benefits that being a parent brings to teachers can and should be nurtured by schools. The study offers a number of recommendations as to how individuals, schools and policy makers might further improve the wellbeing, effectiveness and career progression of teacher-parents.

Item Type: Thesis (Other)
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education
B. > Theses
Item ID: 20805
Depositing User: Users 5077 not found.
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2016 16:23
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2016 07:52
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/20805

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