Research Topic

Rethinking Roles and Identities in Education: Innovation in Contemporary Pedagogy

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About this Research Topic

The changing nature of the educational landscape on the international scale has significant consequences for conceptualisations of education. Global drivers for universal education, the ubiquity of technology and the access to information, bring into question established roles of the educator as sage, ...

The changing nature of the educational landscape on the international scale has significant consequences for conceptualisations of education. Global drivers for universal education, the ubiquity of technology and the access to information, bring into question established roles of the educator as sage, deliverer of knowledge and all round know-it-all. In an era of fake news, information overload and the rejection of expertise, critical thinking and information literacy becomes a valuable commodity. How do educators and institutions reposition or redefine themselves to address these challenges of modern times?
The literature around teacher identity is substantial and the development of a professional identity for students and newly qualified teachers in the UK and internationally is often a focus for teacher educators and initial teacher education. Much attention is given to ‘becoming’ a teacher and the pedagogies associated with the role.
The focus of this Research Topic is on developing the pedagogies related to teacher identity or developing or changing a teacher identity. We ask, ‘What is a teacher?’ Is it a coach, sage, mentor, actor, player, deliverer of subject knowledge? Is a teacher perhaps even a playful entertainer or clown, a challenger comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable? The increase in mental health issues amongst our youth bring into focus the enhanced role of the educator as counsellor and pastoral supporter. Is this the role of teacher?

Education has moved from the formal environment of the school building, to home school, outdoor schools, forest schools and distance education. We seek now to rethink and reconceptualise the idea of ‘teacher’ in a range of settings; in schools, hospitals, refugee camps and homes, at a distance or on the move, reflecting on the multi-facetted notions of the professional and authentic self and how this is influenced by context, national policy and belief. How do educators and institutions reposition or redefine themselves to address these challenges of modern times?
We welcome scholarly papers that explore issues of identity of the teacher and developing pedagogies in particularly those using innovative conceptualisations of teaching. We are also interested in papers exploring the personal, professional and cultural aspects of teacher identity, what these are and how they combine. Likewise, papers that focus on new, novel or innovative pedagogies in education and initial teacher education would be welcome.


Keywords: teacher education, teacher identity, professional identity, innovative pedagogy, play


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