Choosing teachers: Exploring agency and structure in the distribution of newly qualified teachers

Apr. 15, 2008

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 24, Issue 3, April 2008, P. 674-683

This paper theorises aspects of the distribution of newly qualified teachers in England, which is not arbitrary but patterned with differential effects upon socially distanced learners. As part of a larger project exploring the sociological strategies and stratification whereby teachers choose, and are chosen, for their first teaching post, I consider here the stories of Susan and Ben. These two newly qualified teachers of mathematics both accepted posts in schools while on initial teacher education courses but quickly relocated to increase the harmony between their teaching dispositions (habitus) and the type of school (habitat) in which they were to be working. Bourdieu's sociological tools are mobilised to theorise aspects of teacher distribution and the potential inequity resulting from the aggregation of such strategies and ‘corrections’.

Updated: May. 01, 2008