Elena Aydarova 1
  • 1 Arizona State University, 1120 S Cady Mall, Interdisciplinary Building B, Suite 353, Tempe, A Z 85287–1811

Teachers’ Plight and Trainees’ Flight: Perceived, Lived, and Conceived Spaces of Schools

2016. No. 2. P. 183–207 [issue contents]

Aydarova Elena - PhD, Postdoctoral Scholar, Arizona State University. Address: 1120 S Cady Mall, Interdisciplinary Building B, Suite 353, Tempe, A Z 85287–1811. E-mail: olena.aydarova@asu.edu

Teacher recruitment and retention are often examined as technical problems that can be solved by providing teachers with incentives, evaluations, or more practical initial preparation. This paper proposes a reconceptualization of pre-service teachers’ flight from the profession. By applying Lefebvre’s (1991) theory of space to the analysis of ethnographic data collected in the Russian Federation between 2011 and 2014, this paper highlights how teachers’ plight in schools and in the society at large shapes teacher education students’ career aspirations. Based on classroom observations, focus group data, as well as media artifacts, I show that the perceived, lived, and conceived spaces of schooling hold little promise for students in teacher education programs. Teachers’ pay, the structure of teachers’ work, as well as school students’ attitudes towards teachers reveal that schools have come to occupy a peripheral position in the Russian society. Teachers’ experiences in schools as managed professionals burdened with bureaucratic responsibilities and undergoing significant amounts of stress make teaching a precarious occupation. Representations of schools and teachers’ work in the media and public service announcements portray schools as irrelevant and immoral spaces where only “losers” go to work. In this situation, meaningful educational change would require both a reimagining of the spaces of schooling and a collective dialogue on the role education should play in the Russian society.

Citation: Aydarova E. (2016) Bedstvennoe polozhenie uchiteley i ukhod studentov-pedagogov iz professii. Vosprinimaemoe, perezhivaemoe i ponimaemoe prostranstvo shkoly (per. s angl. E. Shadrinoy [Teachers’ Plight and Trainees’ Flight: Perceived, Lived, and Conceived Spaces of Schools]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no2, pp. 183-207.