Understanding the Dynamics of Teacher Agency, Resilience, and Identity in the Neoliberal Age focuses on the complexity of teachers’ agency, resilience, and identity across various contexts. Neoliberal educational policy technologies have been constantly (re)shaping educational professionalism, subjectivity, teaching, and evaluation. Within this climate, teacher agency, resilience, and identity are vital factors for maintaining teachers’ well-functioning and well-being. Moreover, teacher agency, resilience, and identity do not exist independently but reinforce each other constitutively, which enable teachers to see beyond challenge and fluctuating confidence and withstand pressure.
The educational contexts in this book encompass rural, immigrant, preservice education, special education, internationalized school contexts, etc. Theoretically, this book disentangles the conceptual understandings and methodological considerations of teacher agency, resilience, and identity. Practically, the contributors from various countries and regions explore how various contexts influence teacher agency, resilience, and identity in the neoliberal age.
Gang Zhu is associate professor of teacher education and comparative education at East China Normal University, China.
Foreword by Gert Biesta
Introduction: Examining the Dynamics of Teacher Agency, Resilience, and Identity in the Neoliberal Age: Contexts and Issues, Gang Zhu
Chapter One: Agency, Resilience, and Attribution: Examining the Disparate Challenges of Two Schools Interfacing with Neoliberal-based Policies, Ji Hong, Dionne Cross Francis, Kelly Chong, Laura Lewis, Alex Parsons, Crystal Neill, and Qian Wang
Chapter Two: Teach elsewhere - A sociocultural perspective on an immigrant teacher’s agency and perezhivanie during the process of learning to teach in Australia, Hongzhi Yang
Chapter Three: Encountering adversity and emotional challenges in teacher education: Pre-service teachers, agency, resilience and emerging teacher identity, Henrik Lindqvist
Chapter Four: Change in early career teachers’ professional agency in secondary schools in the Netherlands, Anna van der Want, Harmen Schaap, Paulien Meijer, Helma Oolbekkink-Marchand, Léonie Janssen, and Marleen Ensink
Chapter Five: Technologies of performativity in the Chinese internationalised school: Towards teacher (in)discretion, Adam Poole
Chapter Six: Teacher Agency and Identity in the Context of Secondary Special Education: How Schools Advance Neoliberal Notions of Adulthood, J. Christopher Wilt and Courtney L. Wilt
Chapter Seven: Teacher Disempowerment, Identity and Resilience in the Context of Neoliberal Education Reforms: The Case of Hong Kong, Kwok Kuen Tsang and Guanyu Li
Chapter Eight: A Post-structural Analysis of the edTPA as a Discursive Tool: The Neoliberal Apparatus in Teacher Development, Meghan A. Kesslerand Angela Masters
About the Contributors
Gang Zhu and his colleagues have most certainly placed the examination of teacher agency, resilience, and identity at the heart of developing understandings of teaching and teacher education through their efforts in creating this book. The text explores these themes theoretically and conceptually through a consideration of a number of interesting research projects that employ a range of methodological approaches. Importantly, the contributors draw on work from a range of contexts and settings including rural and international school contexts, and from teacher preparation through to special education. By so doing, the volume offers insights into the complexity of teachers’ agency, resilience and identity in ways that help to draw attention to shortcomings of simplistic approaches to education as a technical enterprise. With forewords from two esteemed professors, the strength of arguments presented offers readers a text that is both challenging and thought-provoking.
This book offers an impressive analysis of the impact of neoliberalism on the work and lives of teachers. Chapters come from all over the world. The authors are all concerned to explore the relationships between agency and resilience on the one hand and performativity and accountability systems on the other. The work is theoretically very well informed but is also grounded in the experiences of teachers. It will be of interest to scholars, teachers and policymakers around the world and offers highly original insights about educational policies in the twenty-first century.
This book explores the changing landscape of the factors that determine teachers’ agency and offers a comprehensive view of the teachers’ identity processes and their ability to cope with adverse circumstances in the neoliberal education reforms. Being resilient to conflicting ideas and behaviors, comprehending social phenomena, and facing challenges become essential abilities that redefine the role of teachers. The present compilation aims at fostering critical reflection and promoting scholarly discussions for adequate positioning of the concepts of agency, resilience, and identity within teaching and teacher education.
Understanding the dynamics of teacher agency, resilience, and identity in the neoliberal age: Contexts and Issues, edited by Gang Zhu, explores the development or enactment of teacher agency, resilience, and identity within contexts shaped by neoliberal policies, as they are instantiated in different parts of the world. In particular, the book’s chapters explore how teacher agency can be supported in ways that enable work toward a democratic vision of society, in neoliberal contexts that thwart both democracy and agency. For those who value democracy and authentic learning, neoliberal policies that regulate what teachers can do, and that limit teachers’ agency, are a significant problem. The chapters in this important book explore and shed light on that problem, and on possibilities for invigorating the agency and resilience of classroom teachers.