The topic of my PhD research is: Get a grip on moral authorship of novice teachers in primary education
Professional performance by (novice) teachers requires that they know why they are doing what they do and why they consider their approach worthwhile or important. Being aware of their professional values and drives enables (novice) teachers to explain why their work is “good work”. In my research, I type the process of choice, reflection and anticipation of practical wisdom (Education Council, 2013) as “moral authorship” (Tappan & Brown, 1989) to emphasise the teacher’s initiative. It is the teacher that matters, being a ‘potential critical person’ ( Kelchtermans, 1994).
The research focuses on understanding the characteristics of moral authorship of (novice) teachers and the manner and extent to which moral authorship is recognisable in the narratives of these teachers.
Four studies were conducted:
In the first empirical study, explores which issues novice teachers remember, express and indicate as issues that affect the development of their responsibility, concern or the perspectives of the requirements they experience. Four distinctive situations (set by Dutch professional protocol) are discussed in an interview of about 75 minutes with the help of eliciting questions. The study has resulted in a contribution to the book ‘Complexity in Education’.
In the second study, the concept of moral authorship is elaborated and using the narratives of the first sub-study, it is clarified that the six distinct tasks of moral authorship are relevant for further study.
In the third research, a questionnaire for self-assessment on moral authorship is developed and tested. Beginning teachers and more experienced teachers are asked to fill in the questionnaire. In November 2017, the research results will be reported at the AME-conferentie in St. Louis, USA , after which the article will be submitted to an English-language Journal at the beginning of 2018.
The fourth study evaluates how the participants in the third sub-study, who have received the Personal Profile Moral Authorship, have used the offered profile as feedback about their professional development. The data analyzed is collected on the one hand with a short open questionnaire and on the other hand through some deep interviews about the personal profile.
The various sub-studies provide, on the one hand, publications for international scientific journals about educational research and, on the other hand, some practical tools that can be used in education and for in-service training to scaffold the professional development.
The various published and submitted articles will be bundled and used as a core of my thesis for this PhD.