"Negotiating selves" : the (re)construction of teachers? professional identities in the era of educational reform : a narrative inquiry

  • Christina Yip

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)


The study is set within the context where government-led education reforms have moved the teaching community to a new management culture in Hong Kong. Using narrative inquiry, I seek to gain an understanding on how education reforms are shaping the lives and identities of a group of four experienced secondary teachers in Hong Kong. Through a new construct-attending to teachers' own voices, the data were gathered from teachers through open-ended narrative interviews, focusing on their own experiences and personal values, over a period of two years. Assuming the dual roles of a researcher and a participant in this study, I worked collaboratively with the participant teachers across different school settings, yet closely linked with our experiences, to explore the nature and meaning of our life experiences in the reform context. While keeping past experiences central to the inquiry, multi-layered life stories among us were connected and new meanings emerged during the research process. The study is composed of interacting levels of narrative accounts which appear in various literacy forms, such as scholarly verbatim, songs, poems, dialogues and personal reflections. Through representation and interpretation of stories in the form of metaphors, as in the use of flower labels for participant teachers' attributes and the parallels of 'The Sound of Silence' teachers experienced, stories lived and told by teachers appeared to become new and 'fluid' experiences to both the researcher and the participants. The study contributes to an attempt to relate teachers' past experiences, in the form of stories, to their professional growth. The study also enters into the professional
Date of Award2012
Original languageEnglish

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