“You choose to care”: Teachers, emotions and professional identity

Jan. 15, 2008

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 24, Issue 1, January 2008, Pages 117-126

This paper discusses the findings of a qualitative interpretive study on secondary school teachers’ professional identities and emotional experiences. Teachers’ work is emotionally engaging and personally demanding, yet the caring nature of the teaching role is largely neglected in educational policy and teacher standards.

This paper examines the reasons behind the marginalisation of discourses of emotionality and discusses the lived experiences of three teachers. The caring behaviour that teachers exhibit in their work is seen to have professional, performative and philosophical dimensions as individual teachers subjectively negotiate the demands that are placed upon them in different situated contexts.

Updated: Feb. 10, 2008