Hibernia College Research Seminar 25th November 2015
Throughout the world, but especially in Ireland, the deep entanglement between the Church and education-systems has had repercussions for the construction of teacher-identity, both from within the profession and from outside. This paper proposes that a teacher-identity formed on the basis of a quasi-religious vocation has historically dominated teacher-identity and that the legacy of this remains influential and defining. McCutcheon argues, following on a largely Aristotelian train of thought, that such a quasi-religious vocation form of teacher identity is an unsound and problematic platform on which to seek ethical practice in our schools; proposing that perhaps such a teacher-identity has been at the root of much unethical practice. He argues that notions of self-sacrifice, asceticism, agapism and self abnegation which lie at the heart of the religious-vocation have no place in schools where the flourishing of the human being is the essence of its very raison detre. The paper concludes with a discussion of how teacher-identity may be alternatively informed and of the role of teachers, school-leaders and school governance in such a reformulation.
Dr Fintan McCutcheon (Hibernia PhD Supervisor, Tutor and School Principal)
Fintan McCutcheon has a particular expertise in Educational Leadership, specifically where the research interest of the student is based on educational leadership in the contexts of human rights education, intercultural education or reflective practice for school leaders. He has supervised Master’s students in the fields of human rights education, children’s rights and educational leadership in a multicultural setting. Fintan has 30 years’ experience of teaching in schools in Ireland and the UK and has also taught post-graduate courses with St Patrick’s College and Marino Institute of Education. Alongside this he is a practicing Principal of a large Educate Together and state-recognised Ed Disadvantaged primary school in Dublin. Fintan has designed, written, taught and assessed Masters Modules in Citizenship Education (St Patrick’s College), Human Rights Education ( Marino Institute of Education) and is currently undertaking the same for Ethics of Professional Practice and Educational Leadership (MATL in Hibernia College and PME in Hibernia College). He is also supervising a PhD student who is doing research on teaching children critical thinking skills.
Here is the link to Dr Fintan McCutcheon’s presentation.