The privatised context of teachers’ work encourages a culture of individualism and individualisation in which the collective identity is often imposed by a corporate elite. I believe that professional self-definition through community and a unified message are essential if the teaching profession is to challenge these discourses of division and own brand forms of professionalism. By raising the collective voice of teachers, I would like to contribute to reframing the narrative around trade unions, professional associations and more informal teacher organisations and groups, and celebrate the important work of the profession as a whole.
I am a doctoral researcher at the University of Nottingham in England and my thesis is a comparative study of teacher professionalism in England and Sweden. I am particularly interested in how definitions of the ‘good teacher’ emerge in policy and the extent to which this is or could be profession-led. In this regard, I will listen to the voices of academics and teacher trade union representatives to explore areas of negotiation, compromise and influence in educational reforms.