Identity and motivation: Why do teachers stay, particularly in disadvantaged primary schools in the Birmingham area?
AffiliationFaculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing
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AbstractRecord numbers of teachers in England are leaving the classroom, with many citing overwhelming workloads as a major factor in this decision (Hazell, 2017). However, much less is known about why teachers choose to stay, particularly in disadvantaged schools. The purpose of this study is twofold: To explore the reasons why long serving primary school teachers (‘veterans’), who teach in disadvantaged Birmingham schools, decide to remain in these types of school. Then to explore in more detail the veterans’ ‘teacher identity’ and ascertain to what extent, if at all, identity factors influence remaining in a school or not. My study was prompted by an ‘initial curiosity’ (Agee, 2009, p.433) to uncover the reasons why teachers choose to remain in their school. To gain a richer insight into why teachers remain, I needed to explore teachers’ motivations through the lens of identity. The study adopts a qualitative approach to explore the professional lives and career decisions of 10 Birmingham primary school veterans using in-depth semi-structured interviews. While the concept of a ‘veteran’ is contested, this study interprets the veteran as a teacher who has taught in the same school for seven or more years. The findings indicate that remaining is a multi-layered process dependent on several personal, professional, and situational factors related to identity and motivation. The study concludes that closer attention should be paid to the reasons why teachers stay in disadvantaged Birmingham primary schools to counterbalance the focus on teacher turnover. This is so that, at the very least, supportive structures can be put in place to encourage more teachers to stay and contribute to the success and wellbeing of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
CitationWiseman, S. (2022) Identity and motivation: Why do teachers stay, particularly in disadvantaged primary schools in the Birmingham area? University of Wolverhampton. http://hdl.handle.net/2436/625174
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the Professional Doctorate in Education.
SponsorsThe University of Wolverhampton
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