ArticlePDF Available

Why School Teachers Are Demotivated and Disheartened



Increases in enrolment rates, attendance figures and midday meal distribution do not convey the true picture of the state of the education system in our country. Equally disturbing is the high dropout rate from primary to upper-primary levels, the blame for which lies partly with educators, especially teachers who in government schools and in more rural areas appear demotivated and disheartened.
Economic and Political Weekly May 21, 2005 2141
level described a motivated teacher as one
who was regular, did what she or he was
told and was, by and large, compliant.
Children were nowhere in the picture, nor
were the teaching and learning processes.
Learning was incidental to the mountain
of data they gathered and fed into the
system. Enrolment, attendance, midday
meal distribution and participation in train-
ing programmes and workshops – cold
figures – had become the indices of
educa tion. Admi nistrators at higher
levels associated motivation with low
ab se nteeism, maintaining discipline,
proper record keeping, collection and
reporting of data, utilisation of funds al-
located for teaching and learning material
and giving exercises in the classroom and
correcting them.
It is worth noting that the notion of
‘quality’ is linked to efficient manage-
ment. As a result, obedience and predict-
ability become pervasive values sought in
the system. Actual transaction time, class-
room processes and learning outcomes of
children do not figure in their first res-
ponse. However the percentage of children
clearing the terminal examination is an
important indicator of quality.
Parents had a different view. For them
discipline in the school and regular teach-
ing served as clinchers. A teacher who
came regularly, stayed in the school for the
stipulated time, did not use excessive force
(beating, abusive language, shouting and
punishment) and taught with interest was,
for them, a motivated teacher. The ability
of their children to learn to read and write
and pass examinations was another impor-
tant indicator.
Educationists, on the other hand, argued
that a motivated teacher was one who
Reviewing the progress in the
elementary education sector on
February 21, 2005, the prime min-
ister of India said that he was pained to
note that “only 47 out of 100 children
enrolled in class I reach class VIII, putting
the dropout rate at 52.79 per cent.” This,
he said was “unacceptably high” and
attributed the high dropout rate to “lack
of adequate facilities, large-scale ab-
senteeism of teachers and inadequate su-
pervision by local authorities” (The Hindu,
New Delhi, February 22, 2005). This is
not the first time that teachers and local
authorities have been blamed for India’s
poor performance in elementary educa-
tion; civil society organisations and the
media have highlighted the issue of ac-
countability for over 20 years. Yet, it is
only in the last three to four years that
political leaders and administrators have
begun to openly admit that motivation
and accountability among teachers and
local administrators is a big problem and
that while data on enrolment is impres-
sive many children leave primary school
without learning the basic skills of reading
and writing.
In one district of north India I asked a
group of teachers who, according to them,
was a motivated teacher. After thinking for
a while, one of them said: “A ‘motivated’
teacher comes to school every day, does
what he is told and provides information
the higher-ups want!” I was puzzled with
the answer. I probed further. Almost all
teachers believed that daily attendance and
complying with orders and requests for
information were reasonable indicators of
motivation. Administrators at the district
Why School Teachers Are
Demotivated and
Increases in enrolment rates, attendance figures and midday meal
distribution do not convey the true picture of the state of the
education system in our country. Equally disturbing is the high
dropout rate from primary to upper-primary levels, the blame for
which lies partly with educators, especially teachers who in
government schools and in more rural areas appear demotivated
and disheartened.
Economic and Political Weekly May 21, 2005
could communicate with children. He/she
drew energy from his/her interaction with
children, was concerned about what and
how much they were learning and his/her
ability to attract and retain children in the
school. They also believed that only a
motivated teacher could build a rapport
with the parents and the community and
go beyond the call of duty to ensure that
every single child attended regularly, even
if it meant visiting their homes and per-
suading the parents to send their children
to school.
Discussions on motivation, invariably,
led to comparisons with private schools.
Teachers, administrators and parents
quickly pointed out that private schools
attached great importance to discipline,
regularity and successful results in yearly
as well as public examinations (classes V,
VIII, X and XII). Almost all the teachers
I interacted with sent their own children
to private schools. They admitted that
irregular attendance of teachers was un-
common in private (aided and unaided)
schools and that teachers taught for the
stipulated hours/periods. But when asked
why government schools were different,
most could not give us any convincing
answers. They ended up blaming the sys-
tem where the dice is loaded against teach-
ers in primary schools.
India is a large country. It is possible
that the gap between the educationist’s
perception of motivation and that of
teachers, administrators and the larger
community may be lower in education-
ally advanced states like Kerala, Tamil
Nadu and Himachal Pradesh. Yet, admin-
istrators and the general public agree that
there is a definite problem with the edu-
cation system as a whole. Lay persons and
the media squarely blame the teachers –
ci ti ng absenteeism, ba d behaviour,
politicisation of teachers’ unions and, most
importantly, lack of professional ethics.
Teachers, on the other hand, argue that
the system has pushed them to a point
where they have to cultivate politicians
to avoid frequent transfers or pay huge
bribes to get a job. Administrators,
sympathetic to teachers, argue that the
obsession of the system with data and
targets pertaining to enrolment and re-
tention has deflected attention away from
the children. The more sensitive among
them admit that no one is really inter-
ested in government schools that cater
essentially to poor children. Poor parents
and communities do not have a voice.
Those who have an option and th e
resources to exercise it, simply send their
children to private schools.
Complexities of the Education
The answer to the question of poor
motivation lies buried, perhaps, in the
labyrinth of a complex education system.
The issue of teacher motivation is framed
in an intricate matrix of cause and effect
where one cannot really discern a clear,
one-to-one linear correlation.
First, the education system has expanded
rapidly and enrolment rates have shot up.
But growth rate in the number of teachers
has not kept pace with this rise in enrolment.
The classroom has become very complex.
Children from extremely poor families and
first generation school-goers account for
an overwhelming majority of students in
government schools. Most rural schools
are multi-grade with one, or, at most two,
teachers managing five classes. Teacher-
pupil ratios are also high in such schools.
Second, the social distance between
teachers and children is wide in govern-
ment schools (which cater to the very poor).
Social attitudes and community prejudices
play an important role in determining the
ability and willingness of teachers to
empathise with children. Recent press
reports (especially in the last six months)
reveal cases of sexual exploitation of girls
in rural as well as urban (municipal) schools.
For instance, on February 18,
2005, a head-
master and three teachers were arrested in
New Delhi for raping a 14-year-old girl
and another teacher was arrested for sexual
abuse of young boys. Senior police offi-
cials said teachers used abusive language
when they talked to children from very
poor or socially disadvantaged communi-
ties. It was as though they were doing a
big favour by teaching children from erst-
while ‘untouchable’ communities or very
poor migrant communities from other parts
of India and Bangladesh. Studies on class-
room processes done under the aegis of
the District Primary Education Project
(DPEP) also confirmed the prevalence of
caste and community prejudices.
Third, teachers lack the skills to manage
so much diversity in the classroom. Train-
ing programmes for teachers are designed
keeping in view the situation in large urban
schools where one teacher manages one
class. The problems faced by teachers in
multi-grade situations, where teacher-
pupil ratios are high, are rarely covered in
training programmes. Labels like joyful
learning and child-centred learning do not
mean anything to teachers who have to
deal with social diversity, different levels
of students and most importantly, children
who are undernourished, hungry and fre-
quently ill. Focus group discussion with
teachers in several states in the last few
years revealed that teachers wanted sub-
ject-specific training for multi-grade situ-
ations. But most training programmes focus
on generic skills. The mismatch between
the problems faced by teachers inside the
classroom and training programmes de-
signed by administrators and teacher
educators (who have very little idea of a
multi-grade class) is stark.
Fourth, systemic issues dealing with
corruption (payment for transfers/prevent-
ing transfers, deputations, appointments,
promotions and special assignments) have
vitiated the larger teaching environment in
the country. Teachers say this has politicised
the environment and actual teaching is
rarely monitored. Building networks with
patrons and supporters is more important.
Teachers, who are in leadership positions
in trade unions or affiliated to political
parties in power, rarely attend school.
Continuation in the job and/or in preferred
posts depends on the teacher’s ability to
strike the right chord with the people in
power. As a result, a highly motivated and
honest teacher is one who is transferred
to difficult areas. He/she is saddled with
a number of non-teaching duties and made
a scapegoat when the need arises. So even
though there may be no incentives for
performing better, it certainly pays to build
networks and cultivate godfathers.
Non-teaching Tasks
Fifth, teachers’ unions and block and
district-level administrators claim they are
asked to do a range of non-teaching tasks
which take them away from the classroom.
For example, the Rajasthan government
had asked teachers to motivate couples for
terminal family planning methods. This
led to a series of protests by teachers in
February 2005. In 2001-03, the state govern-
ment directed them to maintain the books
of women’s self-help groups and also
monitor if loan repayments were made on
time. District magistrates rely on teachers to
distribute drought or flood relief supplies,
and identify beneficiaries for government
welfare schemes. Discussions with teach-
ers revealed that while the task of meeting
family planning targets may be given to
all the teachers, the more difficult and
Economic and Political Weekly May 21, 2005 2143
time-consuming non-teaching duties go to
teachers seen as dedicated. Teachers with
political links or the ones active in trade
unions are not given additional duties.
Both central and state governments
contest this. Senior administrators in the
government of India point out that less
than 5 per cent of the teaching days are
taken up by non-teaching duties. Recent
DISE data collected information on non-
teaching duties and the days spent therein.
While statewise data has not been made
public, a recent presentation made by Arun
Mehta (NIEPA, January 2005) indicates
that non-teaching duties accounted for only
1.6 per cent of working days. Teachers’
unions and local administrators disagree.
They argue that the government may expect
teachers to do such work after school hours,
but invariably the teachers spend teaching
time performing non-teaching assignments.
The problem gets particularly severe dur-
ing January-March when annual targets
(especially, family planning) are reviewed
by the district administration.
Sixth, teacher training has picked up
since 1994 with almost all teachers ex-
pected to attend a range of training
programmes every year. Many of these
workshops are held during the academic
session. Teachers are eligible for compen-
satory leave if they attend these workshops
during vacations. This reduces teaching
days. While the training programmes are
intended to improve knowledge levels as
well as skills – especially in child-centred
teaching processes teachers claim that
these programmes add little value when
the overall teaching environment, the ex-
amination system and other aspects of the
school remain unchanged. Nearly all the
teachers I interacted with in several states
said training was a burden – it was neither
planned well nor did it cater to their needs.
Another disturbing issue came to the fore.
Teachers in several states revealed that
training is a ritual – often they reach a
training venue by 11 am and leave by 3
pm – after attending two or three lectures.
In some remote districts, where the state
government is not able to monitor if the
training programme actually happened
teachers reach the venue, collect their travel
allowance and asked to disappear for three to
four days – ticking off the activity as done.
Seventh, teachers and administrators are
continuously embroiled in court cases to
do with promotions and placements,
claiming arrears due to them and disciplin-
ary action-related issues. Administrators
explain that a lot of their time is spent
attending to court cases filed by teachers.
Teachers argue that they have no option
but to go to court for justice. Teacher cadre
management is highly politicised – both
administrators and ordinary teachers are
caught in a web of allegations and counter-
allegations. This has affected recruitment
of new teachers in several states.
The silver lining is that in the course of
my research work I came across teachers
who loved children and were highly
motivated regardless of where they were
posted. These were exceptional people. It
was, indeed, humbling to meet teachers
who worked hard despite all odds. I came
across situations where good teachers
received tremendous community support
that led to improvement in their teaching
and overall results. The reverse was also
true. There were villages that had a won-
derful teacher in the past but could do little
to motivate/support a new teacher who just
refused to teach.
The issue flagged by our prime minister
is indeed important and timely. Political
will at the highest levels can indeed make
Economic and Political Weekly May 21, 2005
a difference. India cannot hope to make
a critical breakthrough in enhancing the
capabilities of its people without concerted
efforts to address the issue of teachers
who are the cornerstone of India’s educa-
tion system. A coordinated effort is needed
if we are serious about addressing the
complex issue of quality education. A demo-
ralised, unmotivated and burdened teacher
cannot turn the system around.
[This commentary is based on research studies
done by the author in elementary education
during the last five years, but more particularly
is based on a recent study on teacher motivation
in India, which is part of an international research
project covering 12 countries in south Asia and
Africa. The project coordinator is Paul Bennell,
senior partner, Knowledge and Skills for
Development, Brighton, UK. It is being funded
by the United Kingdom Department for
International Development (DFID) as part of its
support for policies, programmes and projects to
promote international development. The view and
opinions ex-pressed are those of the author alone
and not of DFID.]
... Often, teachers are blamed for the poor quality of education. Common man and the media squarely blame the teachers -citing absenteeism, bad behaviour, and politicisation of teachers' unions and, most importantly, lack of professional ethics (Ramachandran, 2005). However, primary teachers are at lowest position in the academic hierarchy. ...
... The system should equip the teachers to handle the challenges of this job. Teachers and consequently, teaching has to face political pressure (Ramachandran, 2005;Pitroda, 2009). There is need to develop a supportive social system for them. ...
... It seems training programmes are merely a formality by the department. The problems faced by teachers in multi-grade situations, where teacher-pupil ratios are high, are rarely covered in training programmes (Ramachandran, 2005). There is a gap between actual problems faced by teachers and training programmes. ...
Full-text available
The quality of primary education is the most criticised and debatable issue in educational discourse. The teachers are the pillars of the education system. Often, they are blamed for poor quality of education. However, they are at the lowest position in the academic hierarchy. They have to perform several non- teaching works. It develops a dilemma in the mind of teacher, whether to perform teaching work or non-teaching works. Though, both the works are important but their main work is teaching. The article is an attempt to elucidate the problems of primary teachers. It can be concluded that the primary teachers have a dilemma whether they are teachers who have to perform some non-teaching work or they are administrative staff who have to do some teaching wor
... The burdening of teachers with non-mandated governmental tasks (Ramachandran, Bhattacharjea & Sheshagiri, 2008) is considered usual. The system uses them as scapegoats for the failure of the not so well deliberated policies (Ramachandran, 2005). This makes them assume a passive role in educational change. ...
... This makes them assume a passive role in educational change. The following definition of motivated teacher -"A (Ramachandran, 2005) according to a teacher highlights the status of teacher in the current system of bureaucracy. The definition has no connection to child learning. ...
... Failure only reinforces their feeling of incapability and incompetence. This leads them to fall into the trap of considering the forced identity as their real identities, which is evident from the following quote by a teacher -"A 'motivated' teacher comes to school every day, does what he is told and provides information the higher ups want!" (Ramachandran, 2005). They start displaying a behavioural pattern of helplessness, which is not learned helplessness (Abramson, Seligman & Teasdale, 1978) but forced helplessness. ...
Full-text available
More than two decades of work by Prof. Vijaya Sherry Chand and his team under the aegis of Ravi J. Matthai Centre for Educational Innovation (RJMCEI) at IIM Ahmedabad shows that inspired primary school teachers can bring about improvement in educational outcomes and transform schools by innovating for change. Despite the fact, the draft National Education Policy 2016 fails to take note of "inspiring teachers for educational innovation" as a strategy for educational and school improvement. This paper shows why some teachers are able to innovate despite unfavorable policy environment whilst most fail to do so because the policy environment affects their individual attributes. Policy suggestions for creating conducive policy environment for teacher-led educational innovation is discussed. The policy reform suggested can help tune macro-level policies to supports grassroots innovation by teacher for educational and school improvement.
... The social distance between the teachers and learners is comparatively wider in the low-income private and public (Government) schools. Due to wide differences in the economic and educational status between the two groups, the prevailing social attitudes and community prejudices among teachers tend to form barriers to empathize with their own class children (Ramachandran, 2005;Pratichi (India) Trust, 2002). ...
... In this labyrinth of a complex educational system, finding answers as why school teachers underperform or are demotivated is a difficult task (Ramachandran, 2005). Kingdon and Muzammil (2001) while exploring the various causes of India's poor educational achievements from various studies, arrived at a set of diverse and pluralist views that emerged from social (lack of parental interest in education, poverty, education offered low economic returns, returns to child laborer, etc.)to institutional (lack of school infrastructure and teachers, teacher absenteeism, school quality, and curriculum) and political (teachers participation in politics) dimensions. ...
... In case of allotting non-academic tasks, the authorities although justified by saying that it consumed only 5 or less per cent of the working days, while, the teachers had a different outlook toward it. They said that even if such work was to be performed after school hours, they invariably ended up performing these tasks during their teaching schedule (Ramachandran, 2005). The Bureaucratization of teachers' work and routine imposed severe constraints on time spent directly with children leaving them tired, demotivated, and disconnected from their true roles (Centre for Policy Research, 2019;Kumar, 2011). ...
... Assignment of several non-teaching tasks leads to their over-burdening (Ramachandran et al., 2008). Blaming the teachers for the failure of the schooling system disheartens them (Ramachandran, 2005). Only a small percentage show high motivation and act as problem solvers, despite these unfavourable conditions. ...
... The burdening of teachers with non-mandated governmental tasks (Ramachandran et al., 2008) is considered usual. The system uses them as scapegoats for the failure of the not so well deliberated policies (Ramachandran, 2005). This makes them assume a passive role in educational change. ...
... This makes them assume a passive role in educational change. The following definition of motivated teacher - (Ramachandran, 2005) according to a teacher highlights the status of teacher in the current system of bureaucracy. The definition has no connection to child learning. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
There is a need to focus on the positive aspects of teacher behaviour in Indian public education system. The current discourses on educational quality improvement has largely ignored and relegated this. Despite the negative characterization of teaching profession, several government teachers in the elementary schools have redefined their role by moving beyond their conventional role expectations. They have acted as "socio-educational entrepreneurs" (Chand, 1988; 2012; Chand & Choudhury, 2006) by engaging not only in curricular innovations but also enabling innovations. They have been able to achieve their educational objectives despite the socioeconomic deprivations and resource constraints (Chand et al., 1997; Chand & Shukla, 1998; Chand & Misra, 2009). This provides opportunity for public schooling system to harness their potential for improving quality and efficiency. A reorientation in the approach towards the management policies for teachers is desirable so that they build on excellent practices at the grassroots level (Chand, 2015). This research follows a case study approach to answer the question of how a favourable institutional context was created in Gujarat state for reinforcement and sustenance of innovative behaviour of public school teachers. The work of Educational Innovation (EI) bank functioning under the aegis of RJMCEI, IIM Ahmedabad in collaboration with the Gujarat Government and GCERT is used as a case study. The lesson of this tripartite school-university-system collaboration can be useful for ensuring that the innovations do not become "islands of pilgrimage" but diffused and subsequently infused in the educational system. Several such hubs and networks are required countrywide to increase the scale and impact of such self-initiated teacher innovativeness endeavours for school, community and village improvement.
... Assignment of several non-teaching tasks leads to their over-burdening (Ramachandran et al. 2008). Blaming the teachers for the failure of F o r R e v i e w O n l y the schooling system disheartens them (Ramachandran 2005). Only a small percentage show high motivation and act as problem solvers, despite these unfavourable conditions. ...
... There has been relatively low emphasis placed on the role of teacher innovations for improving educational outcomes of the children in (Ramachandran et al., 2008) is considered usual. The system uses them as scapegoats for the failure of the not so well deliberated policies (Ramachandran, 2005). This makes them assume a passive role in educational change. ...
... This makes them assume a passive role in educational change. The following definition of motivated teacher -"A 'motivated' teacher comes to school every day, does what he is told and provides information the higher ups want!" (Ramachandran 2005) according to a teacher highlights the status of teacher in the current system of bureaucracy. The definition has no connection to child learning. ...
Full-text available
There seem to be limited answers to a demoralization crisis faced by teaching profession currently. It has adverse implications for children learning outcomes, educational quality and school change. This research with elementary school teachers in rural Indian government schools attempts to decipher the explanations behind the crisis. Basing primarily on an analysis of case studies of innovative teachers in their school and village context, creation and works of Educational Innovation (EI) Bank and a participant immersion in teacher trainings, a Forced Helplessness Explanation is proposed. It is argued that the model may provide answers to the crisis facing the teaching profession nowadays. Taking cues from this understanding some questions are posed for the implications for understanding the persisting issues of quality, quantity and equity in education attainments. Putting the teacher at the center of the creation of an enabling learning environment, the reformation model for creating facilitative environment has implications for improving education systems across the world.
... The situation is further compounded by the low expectations set for teachers; higher authorities in the education system tend to consider that a teacher's primary responsibilities have been satisfied if they have 'taught' the chapters set out in the syllabus for the year. Thus, higher authorities view a 'motivated teacher' as one who: a) has low absenteeism; b) maintains discipline and proper records; c) collects and reports data; d) utilises funds for teaching and learning materials; and e) teaches in class (Ramachandran, 2005). The important point here is that all of these metrics are concerned with measuring the teachers' performance instead of the outcome of children's learning. ...
This research is embedded within a larger Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)- funded project, led by the University of Cambridge and the ASER Centre in India, with support from the Pratham Education Foundation. As a PhD project, this thesis investigates the roles and responsibilities of a sample of head teachers, from schools located in the district of Sitapur, Uttar Pradesh, India. This thesis focuses on both the perceptions and attitudes of head teachers towards children’s foundational learning; as well as the barriers they face in supporting children’s achievement of foundational literacy and numeracy skills. Using the adjusted Reasoned Action Approach (Fishbein & Ajzen, 2010) as a conceptual framework, this thesis analyses the head teacher data quantitatively. Particularly, this thesis investigates the head teacher’s underlying patterns of perceptions, attitudes, and barriers toward children’s learning. Moreover, it also examines whether these patterns can predict the variations in the main intended actions identified by the head teachers to deal with poor academic performance in their schools. Analysis of the underlying dimensions of head teachers’ perceptions, attitudes, and barriers demonstrates that there are three emerging patterns: 1) head teacher who perceives no learning problems & focuses less on children’s learning; 2) who perceives no learning problems but focuses on children’s learning; and finally, 3) who perceives learning problems & focuses on children’s learning. Results show that 45% of head teachers could be classified in the first pattern, 38% in the second pattern and only 17% within the third pattern. Moreover, the result shows that the patterns of perceptions, attitudes and barriers do not predict variations in the actions taken by head teachers. In fact, where head teachers perceive there is an issue with children’s learning in their school, and where they are willing to do something about it, there is no difference in their actions.
... Despite nearly three decades of reforms attempting to shift schools from a teacher-centred teaching (TCT) to a more LCT, the average classroom has failed to show a significant shift. One emerging line of discourse is that of blaming teachers for the low quality of teaching and learning-with political leaders and media attributing the problem to teacher absenteeism or teachers" low motivation to work, and proposing stronger accountability systems as one solution (Ramachandran, 2005). Another set of arguments, often employed by teachers themselves to explain their low use of LCT is to blame students, citing barriers such as irregular student attendance, too many students, students at different levels and lacking basic skills, or the background of poor students which makes them less inclined to learning (Burns, 2007) The barriers in implementing LCT in developing countries are many and include: policy issues; cultural factors; professional capacity; teachers" beliefs, and parents" and students" attitudes towards LCT. ...
Full-text available
Many developing countries has been attempting to bring a paradigm shift from TCT to LCT classrooms for years, particularly through annual in-service training, yet most of the classrooms remain dominated by rote-learning. One potential reason is that although scholars have suggested that LCT is grounded in deeply rooted cultural values resistant to change, research and training programmes have rarely attempted to identify and address these underlying beliefs. To address this gap, this study explores how teachers' beliefs relate to their practice, and whether there are certain prevalent beliefs that conflict with a learner centred paradigm. Several prevalent cultural beliefs that are indeed antithetical to LCT. This research should generate useful insights for teacher educators and policymakers and other developing countries, regarding the need for engaging with teachers' beliefs, and the need for contextualizing Western-originating progressive pedagogies in keeping with local cultural contexts. In the present article, barriers in the implementation of LCT have been discussed. Eleven main topics such as: constraints in the school environment; teachers' beliefs; professional capacity; parents' attitudes; student perceptions; assessment practices; top-down reform; lack of systemic alignment around LCT; policy issues; culture; language; readymade materials; lack of proper teaching methodology; and lack of well-equipped libraries have been discussed in this article.
... Constructing teaching as a way of "uplifting the nation," she imbues the profession with greater respect than it is usually given. Discussing motivation amongst government schoolteachers, Vimala Ramachandran (2005) argues that they are often poorly trained for handling diverse classrooms, fi rst generation schoolgoers and children burdened by poverty, and are bogged down by non-teaching tasks, politicking and corruption. Although she mentions that some teachers remain committed in spite of these challenges, most view motivation simply as regular attendance and compliance with administrators. ...
Full-text available
This paper is based on a study which examines the career narratives of serving and retired women teachers from the Anglo-Indian community who are employed in Bengaluru’s English medium private schools. Drawing on feminist extensions of Pierre Bourdieu’s (1984) work, it aims to understand how teachers deploy different forms of capital to negotiate employment challenges. Bourdieu argues against a purely economistic explanation of social inequality, claiming that any examination of class inequality needs to consider the reproduction of cultural and social capital in addition to economic capital. He contends that individuals and families attempt to convert one form of capital into another, that is, economic capital is exchanged for cultural capital, or social capital is mobilised to create economic capital. Diane Reay (2000, 2004) attempted to “gender” Bourdieu’s theory by introducing the concept of emotional capital, which is primarily created and deployed by women within families. This paper argues that emotional capital can also be deployed in the workplace. In addition, it draws on an earlier concept developed by Arlie Hochschild (1983), “emotional labour,” which is used to explain gendered experiences at the workplace. Although Reay and Hochschild developed their concepts independently, this paper suggests that the two can be employed together to understand teachers’ work. Thus, it aims to extend the literature on non-economic forms of capital while also answering a call for teachers’ experiences to be represented in education research and policy (Batra 2005).
Continuing professional development (CPD), though not new, has become much more widespread and significant in education over the last three decades, and is explicitly recognized and advocated by multilateral bodies like the European Union and by individual democracies like India, and South Africa. CPD includes the standards-based, usually top-down, approaches favored by official bodies and policymakers in the form of refresher or training events on, for example, new aspects of education law and policy, such as antidiscriminatory legislation or practice. Although CPD programs work much better when institutional seniors support them, many become criteria for promotion, institutional rankings, and other kinds of formal certification. Whether teachers accept or agree with the stated aims of such programs can be irrelevant. Other forms of CPD are often initiated by educational institutions, or groups of subject teachers, usually with a view to sharing and developing good classroom practice, supporting colleagues, and so on. These are less obviously controlled by official or similar agendas. The transformative approach, on the other hand, involves teachers and pupils in reflective yet focused inquiry into a wide range of areas and would thereby enhance their involvement in democratic societies and systems, that is, in the public space in a very ancient sense.KeywordsContinuing professional developmentForms of CPDStandards-based CPDTransformative approachReflective inquiry
In a world dominated by augmented reality (AR) and hyper-digitization, the education system is on the verge of revolution. However, this rapid change has come at the expense of the pillars of knowledge-providers (i.e., educators). Based on past literature reviews, this chapter identifies the predominant sources of stress and declined well-being of teachers. These include the wave of AR, the COVID-19-triggered online transformation of classroom teaching, and the increasing diversity within classrooms. Their impact has been studied under two classifications—declined personal (reduced self-efficacy and accelerated stress) and social well-being (isolation and alienation). This chapter proposes the ‘Me Within We' model of social self-care to enable teachers to experience a high level of well-being by fostering belongingness through empathic relationships and the establishment of group identity. Future researchers are urged to empirically investigate the holistic efficacy of various dimensions of educator self-care—including social, physical, emotional, and spiritual.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.