Soycan, Nihan
The rising number of Turkish private schools makes them important regarding teacher employment. Due to their distinct organizational structure and applications than public schools, private schools play a determining role in teacher identity. This study examines the role of a private school in the shaping of teaching. Additionally, professional identity may be shaped with symbolic boundaries that cognitively mark similarities and differences to other members of the same social group. This study also explains the experience of teacher identity in one of the long-established private schools in Ankara, in addition to the role of symbolic boundaries and institutional policies in teachers‘ professional identities. Data gathered through semi-structured interviews were analyzed using computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software. Results show that private school teachers experience systematic impoverishment, precarity, and erosion in social prestige. Teacher roles are restricted to preparing students for standardized testing and advertising the school. Teachers are discriminated against based on subject matter and professional experience. Mechanisms like the administrative approach focusing on problem prevention, nepotism, and unrealistic expectations of parents are deepening the discrimination in the school and prohibiting autonomous professional practices. Symbolic boundaries exist both among teachers and in their relationships with students or parents. Publicly stigmatized as "lazy", private school teachers use coping strategies including internalizing the ideological discourse framing the teaching profession, counter-stigmatizing public-school teachers, developing an ascetic approach to the profession, driving forward individual talents, and sticking to the emphasis on professional development compatibly with global culture demands.
Citation Formats
N. Soycan, “TEACHER IDENTITY AND SYMBOLIC BOUNDARIES: A CASE STUDY OF A PRIVATE SCHOOL,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2023.