Teacher professional identity: competing discourses, competing outcomes

Judyth Sachs

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

529 Citations (Scopus)


This paper focuses on issues of the professional identity of teachers in Australia under conditions of significant change in government policy and educational restructuring. Two discourses, democratic and managerial professionalism are identified which are shaping the professional identity of teachers. Democratic professionalism is emerging from the profession itself while managerialist professionalism is being reinforced by employing authorities through their policies on teacher professional development with their emphasis on accountability and effectiveness. The second part of the paper examines the types of professional identity emerging from these discourses. The two identities identified are the entrepreneurial and the activist identity. While these identities are not fixed, nevertheless at various times and in various contexts teachers may move between these two professional identities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-161
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Education Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


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