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Teacher Identity and School Autonomy in Secondary Education in Kazakhstan

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Laura Carnicero.

The goal of this seminar is two-fold: to address the professional teacher identity concerns from the perspective of gender and mass communication studies and explore the concepts of autonomy and accountability in secondary education.

Understanding Gender Constructs in Teacher Identity

Aimzhan Iztayeva, Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education, Astana, Kazakhstan

The first part of the seminar will offer a gender-aware analysis of the construction of teacher’s professional identity in Kazakhstan. Using the theoretical framework drawn from the work by Beijaard et al. (2004) on teacher’s professional identity that offers four distinctive features, this particular research strand focuses on gendered discourses in teachers’ narratives in order to investigate how gender affects the construction of teachers’ professional identity and what implications such construction may have upon the feminisation of a teaching profession as a whole in Kazakhstan.

The Role of Mass Media in the Construction of Teacher Identity

Gulmira Smanova Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education, Astana, Kazakhstan

Another line of the research on teacher professional identity will pursue examination of the construction of teacher professional identity from the perspective of mass communication studies. Most of the research on teacher professional identity is based on the teachers’ own narratives, perceptions and storylines about their role in society, upholding status and challenges they are facing. The primary objective of this approach is to identify how teachers are represented in Kazakhstani print media and to correlate these discursive representations with teachers’ own narratives. By doing so, it tries to understand the role mass media in shaping public understanding and in education policy in a broader social context.

Exploring Prospects for School Autonomy in Kazakhstan

Aizhan Omarbekova, Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education, Astana, Kazakhstan

The second part of the seminar will concentrate on the concepts of autonomy and accountability in secondary education. These notions have recently been discussed widely in Kazakhstan. Under the government initiative to grant more autonomy to higher education institutions, the notion of autonomy in secondary education has also become of interest from the perspectives of national and international research focus. This has led us to analyse and evaluate the extent of secondary schools’ independence in Kazakhstan’s education system and explore forms and degrees of school autonomy at this point. There are at least two good reasons for exploring this idea: it will firstly contribute to building knowledge on the idea of autonomy in education. Secondly, it will provide some thoughts for reflection in the context of translation of the recently-established network of autonomous Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools’ practices to secondary schools across Kazakhstan.

This talk is part of the Kazakhstan Programme Research Seminar Series series.

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