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The influence of professional discourse on beginner teachers within the english further education sector

Brown, David A (2011) The influence of professional discourse on beginner teachers within the english further education sector. MA by research thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to analyse and interpret the professional discourses that impact on trainee teachers working within the Further Education (FE) sector in the North of England. It identifies the predominant discourses surrounding trainee teachers and explores the factors which influence them. Discourse is defined by Gunnarsson (2009) as written or spoken communication that “enables the creation and maintenance of organisations and institutions as groups working for common goals” (p.3). This small scale inductive study utilised semi-structured interviews to ascertain the views of ten ‘in-service’ trainee teachers working within diverse FE establishments across Yorkshire and Humberside during the summer of 2011. A discourse analysis approach was used to interpret the transcribed data. The study reveals that two distinct discourse themes surround trainee teachers; the first is broadly categorised as ‘teaching and learning’, the second is ‘performativity’. Whilst trainees wish to immerse themselves in conversations around classroom experiences and the development of professional practice they are not fully prepared to acknowledge the organisational bureaucracies, regulatory frameworks and target driven agendas which often dominate professional communication. The realisation that performative pressures heavily influence FE is a shock and a disappointment to some. The mechanics of professional discourse are regulated and filtered by two additional significant factors, one is the nature of their participation in localised communities of practice and the other is their interaction with the dominant cultures of management. The trainee’s initial engagement and understanding of professional discourse is heavily shaped and interpreted by their close colleagues. In addition the methodologies managers use to communicate, interact and engage with their staff also has great significance, increasing use of electronic communication technologies has distanced some, leaving trainees frustrated and eager to engage in more frequent face to face communication. Trainees who experience more supportive and collegiate professional communication and interaction at work are likely to develop teacher identities more quickly and become productive and secure in their identification with the role.

Item Type: Thesis (MA by research)
Keywords: Discourse Trainee teachers Communities of practice
Academic Units: The University of York > Educational Studies (York)
Depositing User: Mr David A Brown
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 12:26
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2084

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