Accessibility navigation

Early career teachers’ reflections of teaching in an age of performativity

Cracknell, J. (2020) Early career teachers’ reflections of teaching in an age of performativity. EdD thesis, University of Reading

Text - Thesis
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.

[img] Text - Thesis Deposit Form
· Restricted to Repository staff only


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00110817


The performative culture shaping the nature of teaching is reportedly causing tension for teachers struggling to meet results-driven targets while balancing personal values about educating children (Ball, 2003). Given the multi-complexities of performativity, teachers face numerous problems and issues arising in their practice (Keddie, 2017). Reflection is recommended as a problem-solving strategy that supports professional growth, but there is limited literature specific to experiences of early career teachers (ECTs) (Schön, 1983). Therefore, this study investigated the topics prioritised in ECTs’ reflection and influences affecting this. The theoretical framework draws on Habermas’ (1972) categories of reflection as a lens to review the data. The interpretivist paradigm guided this investigation with qualitative narrative inquiry methodology. This small-scale study involved five ECTS and data from two narrative interviews provided insight specific to their experiences of performative teaching. The processes of data analysis generated theory to develop themes that contribute new knowledge of ECTs’ reflection. Firstly, this study identified ECTs’ various reflections on positive elements of their role. However, their reflections represented high levels of technical focus to ensure practice achieved expected outcomes. Whilst existing research identifies teachers’ wellbeing is improved through relationships with colleagues, it was the extent to which ECTs depended on colleagues’ for technical and practical support that this study offered new insight. Furthermore, ECTs’ reflections were more inclined with technical compliance or even resignation, than emancipatory thinking about the social, political and cultural factors of performative teaching. These findings and analysis of literature about emancipatory reflection enabled theory to develop theory that culminated in the contribution of a new reflection model to challenge ECTs to think more critically to build their professional understanding and develop autonomy for solving problems. Hence, this study offers rich insight into the nature of ECTs’ reflections in an age of performativity to help school leaders in their planning of professional learning for teachers in the early stages of their career.

Item Type:Thesis (EdD)
Thesis Supervisor:Harris, R. and Roberts, R.
Thesis/Report Department:Institute of Education
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education
ID Code:110817


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation