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Professional Life and Work

Studying Teachers' Lives

Studying Teachers' Lives - an emergent field of study


In 1973 I was travelling on a train in Yorkshire in the North of England. One of the joys of train travel is eavesdropping other people's conversations. Two men were sitting in their working clothes opposite each other, both smoking pipes:

A. I gather your Janet's walking out with a fella.

B. Aye, that's right... looks like they might get married.

A. I did hear something about him being... a teacher (said
meaningfully, a little conspiratorially, hints of 'I won't tell

B. More's the pity.


A. Never could understand folk like that, They're a rum
bunch of buggers by a' large... sort of a race apart,
(Long pause)

B. Aye, they leave a lot to be desired.

Now gathered within this conversation are of course a number of themes. Some clearly recognizable, others not, Older Yorkshire working men would be likely to feel at best ambivalent about the group of people implicated in their passage into a harsh working world: their passage into the mines, the mills, the factories of the Yorkshire hinterland where they would spend up to fifty years of their working life. But over and above this ambivalence there seems to be another kind of bemusement, which links with wider ways of knowing and talking and writing. The feeling that one or another, teachers constitute a separate species. A species that is to some degree apart and unknown to other mortals. 

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Studying Teachers' Lives Ivor Goodson
  • Date of publication: 06/02/1992
  • Number of pages (as Word doc): 272
  • Publisher: Routledge
  • Subject:
    Professional Life and Work
  • Available in:
  • Appears in:
    Studying Teachers' Lives
  • Paperback
  • Price of book: £42.99
  • ISBN: 978-0-415-06858-1
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