Performativity, Faith and Professional Identity: Student Religious Education Teachers and the Ambiguities of Objectivity

Bryan, Hazel and Revell, Lynn (2011) Performativity, Faith and Professional Identity: Student Religious Education Teachers and the Ambiguities of Objectivity. British Journal of Educational Studies, 59 (4). pp. 403-419. doi:10.1080/00071005.2011.602328

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This paper considers the way in which Christian Religious Education (RE) teachers articulate the difficulties and challenges they experience both in school and with their peers as they navigate their way through their Initial Teacher Education. The paper offers a unique exploration of the relationship between elements of the three discourses of faith identity, emerging professional identity and the requirements of a performative teacher training context. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 184 student RE teachers across three universities. It became clear that all students interpreted the Standards and policy guidelines ambiguously, as being value-laden or value-free. The idea of the ‘good teacher’ as someone who was, by very definition, neutral and objective immediately made the faith position of students problematic. This is a key point in relation to the notion of performativity and education and the disproportionate impact it made on Christian students. It appeared as though many Christian students were concerned to stress that although their faith was personally important for them it was not something that contributed to their understanding of a ‘good teacher’.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Objectivity, Performativity, Faith, Professional identity, Student Religious education teachers, United Kingdom
Related URLs:
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Society and Learning
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2015 15:58
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 08:50

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