Läraridentitet och lärararbete : Fem livsberättelser

Detta är en avhandling från Karlstad : Karlstad University Studies

Sammanfattning: In the dissertation I want to highlight how teacher identity takes form in different historical, social and local settings. The forming of a professional identity is one of the aims of this study. The other aim is to examine how teachers describe their work. Work in this context means everything a teacher does. The teachers also have a commission from the society. Another way of observing changes historically is by examining the different research areas, which have been active recently.

During the 40s and 50s the research, which aimed at finding the most suitable teacher dominated. The ability to teach and to maintain discipline were the two most important factors, when students wanted to become teachers. Efficiency was the main research area during the 60s and the researchers tried to find the best method for student learning. It was difficult to get reliable proofs of the connection between student learning and method. Therefore it seemed important to understand how teachers think about their own teaching and the next main stream research was Teacher Thinking. Teacher socialisation is another topic of interest, which has been present since Lorties study. In the 90s one part of teacher research has been directed towards teachersÕ professional lives. Goodson argues that if we are to understand teachers, we must listen to the teachers themselves. My dissertation is a part of this research.

MeadÕs theories concerning identity forming and processes of socialisation are my theoretical starting points. Mead argues that our consciousness is born with others out of interaction. New meetings in different contexts, privately or professionally, affect our lives and are conditions for change and development. In the study I have used the life history method and five teachers are included, aged from 30-93. I have used open-ended interviews talking about their lives as teachers: their work, changes and in some respect their private lives. These teachers are not to be seen as representatives for their profession in any way.

Analysing my results I can see a pattern where the oldest teacher is hidden from any kind of control in her classroom. Outside the classroom she is very well-known and an official person. The teachers of today talk about the opposite situation: official in the classroom, but anonymous outside it. A similar pattern appears when looking at teacher co-operation. The oldest teacher had no co-operation with her colleagues in the classroom, but they met for social reasons in the evenings. Today the teachers co-operate with others all day in their classrooms, but they do not meet colleagues in the evenings. Besides these patterns the stories give a picture of different phenomena, which can be looked upon as contradictions. Teaching and fostering, the class and the individual, co-operation and individual work, relations to the pupils causing joy and frustration are different parts of the teachersÕ task.

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