The Pleasure and Pains of English teaching: an investigation into the quality of professional life in the ‘middlle years’.

  • O'Sullivan, Kerry-Ann (Primary Chief Investigator)
  • Goodwyn, Andrew (Primary Chief Investigator)
  • Manuel , Jacqueline (Primary Chief Investigator)

Project: Research

Project Details


This international project is conducted in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, investigating the professional lives of English teachers in the middle years of teaching. The study was prompted by a need to more fully understand and document the factors and conditions that sustain and challenge experienced English teachers and the professional wisdom they have accrued over the course of their career. The key research question informing the study is: What is life like, personally and professionally, as an English teacher in the middle years: what are its pleasures and its pains and what view do its teachers have of the future of being an English teacher?

In the context of an increasingly prescriptive, regulated and standards-driven educational environment, there is evidence that these markers of a dominant performativity and measurement culture have impacted on English teacher agency, autonomy, professional identity, resilience and creativity. The purpose of this study is to explore in-depth, through a qualitative research design, how English teachers across three continents navigate and negotiate extrinsic and other forces as part of their professional lives, and the implications of these findings for the sustainability of the profession.
Short titleProfessional lives of English Language Arts Teachers Project
Effective start/end date3/03/20 → …