Mellan tradition, demokrati och marknad

En analys av lärares identitetskonstruktion, i samtal kring etiska frågor i läraryrket

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Keyword: Teacher identity, Teacher profession, Democracy, School tradition, Marketization, School development, Critical discourse analysis, Discourse ethics.
Publication year: 2006
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 4 Quality educationSDG 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
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This thesis focuses on the construction of teacher identity in the field of tension between teacher tradition, democratization and a free economic market. The main purpose is to analyze what aspects of teacher identity are constructed as teachers talk about ethical questions in their practice. The theoretical framework is inspired by the critical discourse analysis of mainly Norman Fairclough. This theoretical perspective makes it possible to interpret what influences teachers’ construction of professional identity, as they talk about their practice from an ethical perspective. These influences are understood as different discourses. A total of eighteen conversations in three different groups of teachers have been studied. Three main themes were dominating the conversations; talk about the student, talk about the teacher’s fostering tasks, and talk about integrity, limits and private spheres. In the conversations, different approaches and discursive patterns can be identified. The teachers’ discursive practice includes a traditionally dominating, conventional discourse, which can lead to the reproducing of hierarchical power relations in school and in society. The discursive practice also includes elements from a marketisized discourse, in which values of efficiency and goal reaching are central. This discourse also tends to reproduce asymmetrical power relations. A third influence is identified as a dialogical, communicative discourse, which emphasizes equality, dialog, openness to other perspectives and plurality. The aspects of teacher identity that are constructed within a dialogical, communicative teachers’ discourse, can be seen as the result of a promising ambition among the teachers to develop their school practice in a democratic, pluralistic direction. This ambition can however be further developed, explicit, and theoretically well-founded by a discourse ethical approach. The work of mainly Seyla Benhabib is suggested and argued for in this thesis, as a fruitful theoretical platform for ethically legitimate fostering and teaching.


Sara Irisdotter

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