Doing the ‘Second Shift’: Gendered Labour and the Symbolic Annihilation of Teacher Educators’ Work

Jul. 01, 2013

Source: Journal of Education for Teaching, Volume 39, Issue 3, 2013, pages 301-313

The author reflects on the experience of being a participant in the Work of Teacher Education (WoTE) research, and draws on conceptualisations of teacher education as domestic labour.
She argues that teacher educators’ closeness to classroom practice acts as a determining factor in their symbolic annihilation, a concept usually applied to study of the media that argues that the absence of representation, or underrepresentation, of some groups of people is a means of maintaining social inequality.

Teacher educators’ necessary closeness to practice affects promotion, academic outputs and recognition and constitutes a two-tier system that closely mirrors ‘blue collar/white collar’ inequalities in wider society, underlining Bourdieu’s characterisation of academics as the ‘dominated fraction of the dominant class’.
Reviewing data derived from her own practices as a teacher educator in relation, and doing so with reference to the larger WoTE data-set, the author argues that the feminised connotations of teacher education work contributes to teacher educators’ symbolic annihilation within the public discourse, which includes the wider education community.

Updated: Jun. 06, 2016