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  • 2020SaidPhD

    Final published version, 1.38 MB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 13/11/25

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Vocational teacher educators’ identity: A symbiosis of roles and contexts

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • Alison Said
Publication date2020
Number of pages242
Awarding Institution
Thesis sponsors
  • Tertiary Education Scholarship Scheme (TESS) Grant offered by the Maltese Ministry for Education and Employment
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The objective of this thesis is to gain a deeper understanding of the professional role identities of vocational teacher educators (VTEs) when compared with mainstream teacher educators (MTEs) in Malta. VTEs are underrepresented in research and policy and misapprehended as an occupational group, even though they are crucial players in sustaining a high-quality vocational teaching workforce and have a significant impact on the quality of teaching and learning in schools. Using identity theory from the structural symbolic interactionism (SI) perspective (Burke & Stets, 2009), this study examines the identity changes of VTEs during an initial teaching education (ITE) programme in Malta and investigates how employers view the role identities of VTEs in Malta. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews with twenty-two participants, adopting Braun and Clarke’s (2006) thematic analysis (TA); and metaphor analysis. The results show that VTEs and MTEs underpin their teaching differently, influenced by the perceptions they have about their professional role identities. Moreover, both VTEs and employers were almost unanimous in their perspectives of what VTEs should be. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for each country, yet this study contributes to a field with a limited research base, by providing recommendations for policymakers and vocational education and training (VET) practitioners.