Understanding professional community and professional identity through the experiences of Bahraini teachers working with British teachers in a partnership project

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Abstract

This paper is an exploration into the nature of the professional community that is formed when teachers from different nations work together. The research presented here consists of the findings from a small-scale exploratory case study that is the scoping study for a larger piece of research on this same theme. This larger piece of research is my doctoral study that I am currently undertaking at Cambridge University. This paper specifically involves the presentation of data drawn from interviews with teachers from Bahrain who have been involved in working with teachers from Britain via programmes run by the British Council and others. In this paper I discuss how identity is constructed within a professional community that crosses national boundaries. I conclude by suggesting that teachers who are working with colleagues from other nations build their professional identity together in innovative and exploratory ways. I also suggest that they actively construct professional communities with these colleagues and that they find this rewarding and significant. This paper responds to several of the identified themes of the ECER Conference 2015. These include ‘ways in which teachers learn and develop throughout their professional career’. In relation to this, this paper also addresses issues around the conference title 'education and transition'.

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Conference on Educational Research (ECER): Education and Transition - Contributions from Educational Research
Period9/09/15 → …
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Keywords

  • Community of practice
  • teacher leadership
  • professional community
  • professional identity

Cite this

Underwood, M. J. (2015). Understanding professional community and professional identity through the experiences of Bahraini teachers working with British teachers in a partnership project. Paper presented at European Conference on Educational Research (ECER): Education and Transition - Contributions from Educational Research, . https://doi.org/10.13140/RG.2.1.2673.0720