Teacher Professionalism: The Double Field of Tradition and New Professionalism

Erna Nairz, Klaus Feldmann

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


This paper presents the main findings of an empirical study which aimed to reconstruct different forms of teacher-professionalism in schools.
For this purpose, narrative-problem centred interviews with teachers and headteachers were conducted and analysed, drawing on Bourdieu's
theoretical framework. Two main ideal forms of teaching habitus could be
reconstructed: the habitus of traditional teaching and the habitus of professional teaching. Our research shows that, in many cases, the habitus of new teachers is faced with a double field structure. These findings are illustrated in this article using the example of an interview with teachers and a headteacher. It can be demonstrated that teachers and headteachers face a constant challenge in assigning resources to struggles between the traditional and the professional fields. We argue that further initiatives will be needed
from the field of education policy and communities of practice in schools to stabilise the field of professional teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)796 - 812
JournalChallenging Organisations and Society reflective hybrids® (COS)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015

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