Life as an English teacher in times of 'challenge and change'

Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation


In this symposium, we report on the Australian strand of an international collaborative research project designed to explore the professional lives of middle-career English teachers. In an education environment marked by the rise of technologies of “performativity” (Ball, 2003, p. 216), ubiquitous regulatory systems and interventionist government policies, we are interested in further understanding the forces and conditions that sustain or challenge the motivation and aspirations of experienced English teachers. What is life like, personally and professionally, for an English teacher in the middle years? What are their attitudes, values and goals; their levels of satisfaction; and their sense of self-efficacy, resilience and agency in times of ‘challenge and change’? Through in-depth interviews, the study has gathered rich and illuminating stories of English teachers working in diverse settings during a critical career phase. We share the key findings that point to the confluence of contextual and idiosyncratic factors in shaping a teacher’s continued investment in and commitment to the profession. We conclude by reflecting on the implications of the findings for: current and future teachers; teacher recruitment, retention and attrition; and the quality and sustainability of the English teaching profession more broadly.
Period7 Jul 2021
Held atAustralian Association for the Teaching of English & Australian Literacy Educators' Association: National Conference 2021, Australia
Degree of RecognitionNational