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Care and education. a case study: Understanding professional roles and identities of teachers within a Welsh PRU

Smith, Phil and Connolly, Mark 2019. Care and education. a case study: Understanding professional roles and identities of teachers within a Welsh PRU. Cylchgrawn Addysg Cymru / Wales Journal of Education 21 (1) , pp. 65-88. 10.16922/wje.21.1.5

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Abstract

This paper considers the professional work of teachers within Pupil Referral Units (PRUs) in Wales. Traditionally neglected by both policy and research, PRUs have become a focus of attention due to debates around attainment and the 'off rolling' of pupils from traditional schooling. Drawing on data from an ethnographic study of one Welsh PRU, this paper illustrates how teachers working within PRUs see themselves as occupying a hybrid space between teacher and social worker within a social pedagogic approach to teaching. We illustrate how this approach is underpinned by a strong moral and ethical account of their professional work. From this we illustrate how policy scrutiny and Welsh educational reforms have resulted in changes to teachers' perceptions of their working role and identity. While this policy focus is welcomed we suggest that any accountability frameworks introduced to judge Welsh PRU success need to adopt a highly contextualised approach which recognises the complex needs and backgrounds of PRU pupils and does not reduce success to only measures of academic attainment. By recognising the hybrid nature of professional practice and developing metrics of success which capture the social as well as academic needs of pupils within the Welsh PRU setting, Welsh Government (WG) will reinforce the social pedagogic approach of Welsh PRU teachers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: University of Wales Press
ISSN: 2059-3708
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 March 2019
Date of Acceptance: 26 March 2019
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2019 11:45
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/121215

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