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The assault on teachers’ identities, autonomy and efficacy or Can education in a troubled world help us in becoming human?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Simon Gibbs



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


In the current socio-economic and political climate and the increasing commercialisation of schools, educationalist can find it hard to sustain a positive role and purpose. As teachers’ identities and sense of efficacy are eroded, the recruitment of teachers is becoming increasingly problematic and attrition rates are rising. In this paper (a summary of a forthcoming book) I examine the philosophical and psychological basis for the professional identity of teachers and the effects of misunderstanding and mistreating teachers' beliefs in themselves. This requires consideration of inter- and intra-personal dialogues and the relationship with others. It is argued that only by reaffirming teachers’ sense of creativity, autonomy and agency can education cease to be a mechanistic exercise in social engineering with no fixed goals and rediscover the simpler and more profound purpose of helping people to be human.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gibbs S

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: DECP Annual Conference 2018: Education and Well-Being – The Well-being of Education?

Year of Conference: 2018

Print publication date: 12/01/2018

Acceptance date: 20/10/2017

Date deposited: 09/01/2018

Publisher: The British Psychological Society


Sponsor(s): British Psychological Society Division of Educational and Child Psychology