The institutionalisation of teachers and the implications for teacher identity: The case of teachers in International Baccalaureate ‘World Schools’

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Abstract

In this article, we report our analysis of organisational institutionalisation processes, and their effects on teachers and particularly on teacher identity. We focus on the institutionalisation of International Schools that are authorized to offer the programmes of the International Baccalaureate (‘IB World Schools’) and the way institutionalising processes, in establishing the legitimacy of a school’s claim to be an International School, affect the practice of teachers and institutionalise them into particular ways of working and influence their sense of their identity. Our focus is novel, since the focus of this study is on experienced teachers, not novices or beginners.
The article starts with an analysis of the notions of institutionalisation and teacher identity. We use Scott’s (2014) model for describing the institutionalisation process, consisting of three ‘pillars’, which support institutionalisation, and the notion of ‘carriers’ which add to the process. We then consider the nature of IB programmes and the requirements for ‘IB World School’ status. In the methodology and methods section, we describe the research design (focus groups; 15 participants), data collection and data analysis methods and ethical considerations. We then describe the findings, and discuss key issues to emerge from our analysis. At the end we recap on the study we have undertaken and set out some further areas for research. We consider that institutionalisation processes are powerful and can have a substantial effect on the practice of teachers, to the extent that they may become institutionalised as a particular kind of teacher, which may have consequence effects on their identity.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventAnnual Conference of European Conference on Educational Research (ECER 2017) - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 22 Aug 201725 Aug 2017

Conference

ConferenceAnnual Conference of European Conference on Educational Research (ECER 2017)
CountryDenmark
CityCopenhagen
Period22/08/1725/08/17

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    Bunnell, T., Fertig, M., & James, C. (2017). The institutionalisation of teachers and the implications for teacher identity: The case of teachers in International Baccalaureate ‘World Schools’ . Paper presented at Annual Conference of European Conference on Educational Research (ECER 2017), Copenhagen, Denmark.