Shared discursive history, rethinking teachers as role models

Alexander, Patricia. 2022. Shared discursive history, rethinking teachers as role models. Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 30(4), pp. 529-547. ISSN 1468-1366 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

In the UK, government and educational stakeholders perceive the problem with boys’ disaffection and underachievement in school as due to a lack of role models. In political role model discourses Black or Ethnic Minority (B.E.M.) teachers are recruited to modify the behaviour of B.E.M. boys, without attaching any blame to the systemic racism they experience in schooling and wider society. The empirical date for this article is drawn from a research project examining the lives of B.E.M teachers. Semi-structured interviews with three male B.E.M. teachers are scrutinised for insights to how they perceive and self-define their discursive work. The author proposes a conceptual frame referred to as ‘shared discursive history’ to contextualise the way B.E.M. teachers live their role model identity. The findings suggest disrupting links made with B.E.M. boys, behaviour and potential trajectory necessitate B.E.M. teachers modelling a critical stance to, and assumptions about, representations of ‘other’.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Shared Discursive History, role model teacher, black or ethnic minority teacher, teacher identity

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies


8 October 2020Published Online
10 September 2020Accepted

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

27 Oct 2020 10:42

Last Modified:

15 Aug 2022 13:54

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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