‘Still Game’: An analysis of the life history and career disappointments of one veteran male teacher of physical education in Scotland’

Malcolm Thorburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Relatively little is known about veteran teachers’ professional lives and especially
of veteran teachers who have failed to secure promoted teaching positions.
This is a weakness in our understanding of teachers’ lives given the social and
policy changes which have taken place in teaching over recent decades.
Through a series of 10 semi-structured interviews, this paper examines the life
history of one veteran male teacher of physical education in Scotland who has
taught for nearly four decades in the same school. Findings revealed that
“Jack’s” resilience, solace in subject teaching and sense of vocational identity
was helpful in coping with lack of promotion and a deteriorating school and
community environment. However, diminishing professional development
opportunities, a reduction in communities of physical educationalists working
together, combined with limited collaborative managerial cultures in school led
to the later parts of Jack’s career being isolated and disconnected in comparison
with earlier years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-343
Number of pages14
JournalEducational Review
Volume63
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • life history
  • professionalism
  • careers

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