The dangers of relentless pursuit: teaching, personal health, and the symbolic/real violence of Teach For America

Matthew A.M. Thomas, Elisabeth Lefebvre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper examines the pressures experienced by teachers as they strive to embody the Teach For America (TFA) motif of ‘relentless pursuit’. It draws on interviews conducted with 36 teachers and uses a Bourdieuian analysis to consider the mechanisms of control manifested through socialization and corps member habituation. The findings suggest that corps members experience both symbolic and self-imposed overt violence as they aim to meet the demands of TFA. This has implications for the increasing number of teachers in programs around like TFA as well as the broader discourses of teacher accountability and the teaching profession.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalDiscourse
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Apr 4 2017

Keywords

  • Pierre Bourdieu
  • Teach For America
  • educational policy
  • symbolic violence
  • teacher education
  • teacher stress

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