Mission and teacher identity : A case for relationships

Journal article


Sultmann, William and Brown, Raymond. (2019). Mission and teacher identity : A case for relationships. Journal of Religious Education. 67(2), pp. 153-163. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40839-019-00084-4
AuthorsSultmann, William and Brown, Raymond
Abstract

Eight Catholic school communities across Australia nominated teacher identity characteristics aligned with an understanding of Catholic school mission from a local community perspective. A data mining process (Leximancer Manual in https://www.leximancer.com. Version 2.23, 2017) of the collated narratives from focus groups (n = 73) highlighted the mission concept, ‘School’, with a frequency of 295 appearances. An interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) of the concept revealed characteristics of tradition, integration and participation and characterised their essence as ‘a shared sacred mission’. Participant utterances that referenced teacher characteristics and frequencies within the narrative focused on: Community (38), Faith (13), and Life (9). Community utterances identified teacher ‘connections with students’, ‘staff relationships’, ‘associations with the broader community’ and ‘involvement in the life of the school’. Faith was expressed in teacher ‘leadership’, ‘Gospel values’, ‘spiritual growth’, ‘experience of church and connection with the charism of the Religious Institute.’ Life involved teachers advancing student ‘welfare’, ‘service’, ‘tradition’ and ‘advocacy’. Overall, teacher identity characteristics integral to mission were discussed as Relational Agency, Equity and Authenticity. Relational Agency entailed facilitation of student capabilities; Relational Equity enacted social justice values of inclusion and respect; and Relational Authenticity advanced and witnessed a foundational meaning system aligned with Catholic school tradition. The implications of the findings identified a case for relationships as being pertinent to mission for all teachers in Catholic schools, but teachers of Religious Education in particular.

Keywordscatholic school identity; teacher identity; school missionteacher identity; relationships
Year2019
JournalJournal of Religious Education
Journal citation67 (2), pp. 153-163
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISSN1442-018X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s40839-019-00084-4
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range153-163
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online30 Jul 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Sep 2021
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