Teachers’ Identity Tensions and Related Coping Strategies: Interaction With the Career Stages and Socio-Political Context
When external requirements conflict with teachers’ personal beliefs and values, the resulting internal struggles can lead to identity tensions. Contributing to discussion on teachers’ identity development in a challenging context, this study investigated teacher identity tensions and related coping strategies in Hong Kong. We conducted 21 semi-structured interviews with qualified teachers and then performed a deductive thematic analysis of the data. We categorised the identity tensions as positioned on the micro or macro level, and distinguished the coping strategies as emotion-focused or problem-focused behaviours. The identity tensions and related coping strategies seemed to be associated with teachers’ career stages. We further found identity tensions to be related to the school’s sociocultural environment and to the specific political and societal forces in the region. The study demonstrated the need for continuous and differentiated support catering for teachers’ needs, and highlighted the specific social-political influences on professional identity development.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Josephine Lau, Katja Vähäsantanen, Kaija Collin
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