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Narratives of Asian women migrant teachers in Dubai: exploring the challenges of teaching in a contrasting pedagogical and cultural context

Rogers, S. (2021) Narratives of Asian women migrant teachers in Dubai: exploring the challenges of teaching in a contrasting pedagogical and cultural context. EdD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00103387


This thesis explores the professional journeys of Asian women migrant teachers when they relocate to teach in the early years sector in Dubai. It seeks to understand how these teachers renegotiate their professional identity when faced with the challenges of teaching in a different cultural and pedagogical education community. The research developed from a need to support teachers to deliver quality teaching and learning experiences and be recognised as effective educators. It is important as many of the teachers who relocate to Dubai are from this background. However, little is known about their professional journeys or the challenges they face. This research followed an interpretive paradigm, exploring ten migrant teachers’ professional journeys using in-depth one-to-one interviews to explore their professional life histories. The study was undertaken within a conceptual framework of social constructivism and this informs the worldview of the research, allowing the individual participant’s voice to be heard. The findings from this research indicate that Asian women migrant teachers face substantial challenges when they relocate to teach in Dubai. Their professional identity is bound within their historical, cultural and social backgrounds and these are situated within traditional expectations of the role of women as educators of very young children. The impact of the resulting indigenous world view on their professional identity is explored. Using Hargreaves’ (2000) stages of professionalism, the research reveals that migration causes a mismatch between their current professional identity and the expected professional identity that is expected of them in Dubai. This thesis helps to understand the impact which migration has on teachers’ identity and the contradictory influences of traditional and postmodern culture on shaping professional identity. The factors that impact on the marginalization are explored and the solutions the teachers develop are discussed. This study contributes new professional knowledge as it applies the arguments of ‘respectability’ which characterise the historic of views of teaching as a female profession in Western culture described by Miller (1996) and Skeggs (1997) to the existing traditional nonwestern culture of these teachers. There could be a level of transferability of knowledge to any teachers who are migrating to a different pedagogy culture than their own, especially when the cultural disparity is not apparent.

Item Type:Thesis (EdD)
Thesis Supervisor:Taggart, G. and Kambouri, M.
Thesis/Report Department:Institute of Education
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Improving Equity and Inclusion through Education
ID Code:103387


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