An Analysis of Mid-Career Teacher Resocialization in Response to Comprehensive School Reform: An Investigation into the Implementation of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme in United States Public Schools

  • Russell Marino

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)


Effective teaching requires an individual to develop the knowledge, skills and practices required to execute the responsibilities of their role. Prior to entering the field, the majority of prospective teachers engage in a process of pre-service teacher socialization where they learn the foundational knowledge and skills associated with the role-as-teacher. The pre-service socialization process typically takes place in a classroom setting with corresponding practical field experience. Through the first years of experience, a teacher further develops the knowledge, skills and practices associated with the role-as-teacher through a process that is referred to in the literature as beginning teacher socialization. In addition to the knowledge, skills, and practices that align with the role-as-teacher, beginning teacher socialization also provides an individual with the social and cultural understandings that are unique to the role within their school setting. Research demonstrates that effective teacher socialization results in a teacher’s positive sense of self-efficacy, role clarity of their position, and social acceptance within their organization. What happens, then, when the role-as-teacher fundamentally changes due to comprehensive reforms?

Comprehensive school reform (referred to as CSR) is characterized by a complete redesign of a school with the intent to reorganize and revitalize the organization with a focus on improving outcomes as measured by student performance. Such reforms have a significant impact on teachers who have successfully socialized into the field and the school organization undergoing reform. While CSR and its impact on teachers has been studied extensively, research is limited on how such reforms impact teachers in the middle of their careers through the lens of teacher socialization. This study aims to analyze the experience of these teachers, referred to herein as mid-career teachers, as they resocialize to the changes associated with comprehensive reform.

Through a thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews of mid-career teachers transitioning from a traditional US public school framework of teaching and learning to the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (henceforth to as IBPYP), the findings from this qualitative study suggest that the implementation of CSRs result in changes to the role-as-teacher that requires a process of resocialization in order to develop the knowledge, skills, and practices associated with the reform model. It demonstrates that the initial reform implementation efforts result in diminished teacher self-efficacy that results from a lack of programmatic understanding and a lack of role clarity associated with the programmatic expectations. The findings further suggest that ensuring a culture that includes intentional professional learning activities and structured, facilitated professional collaboration help to facilitate the process characterized herein and introduced to the field as mid-career teacher resocialization.
Date of Award24 Jun 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorMichael Fertig (Supervisor) & Chris James (Supervisor)

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