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Durham e-Theses
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Name and shame the impact of the ofsted model of school inspection on the working lives of primary teachers: an ethnographic study

Howard, Jean Marian (2000) Name and shame the impact of the ofsted model of school inspection on the working lives of primary teachers: an ethnographic study. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The question the study seeks to address is what kind of effects primary teachers experience before, during and after an inspection by the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). The focus of the study is the classroom and staffroom interaction of teachers in a small primary school serving a disadvantaged estate in the North of England. Working as a voluntary classroom assistant in each of the classes in the school throughout the school's Ofsted year, the researcher adopts the role of participant observer, noting the teachers' response to the Ofsted process, as evidenced in their day-to-day activities and interaction. The study begins by explaining the researcher's interest in this area of study and approach, then sets this against the background of recent research into the work of teachers in English primary schools. In Chapter Three, the practicalities of undertaking fieldwork in the school are explored, relating these to literature which the researcher found particularly helpful in making sense of the realities of undertaking an ethnographic approach in this environment. An outline sketch of the background to school inspection in the UK is undertaken in Chapter Four to place the experiences of the teachers in context. The major part of the study, in Chapter Five, is given over to the story of Banktop School's Ofsted year, as observed by the researcher working as "another pair of hands" in the classroom. The analysis of this data in Chapter Six draws attention to three main themes throughout the year - the anxiety of the teachers; their view of Ofsted as separate from their own values in their day-to-day work; the stress on public performance as central to successful assessment by Ofsted. In the final chapter, the experiences of the year are viewed in context of the research reviewed in Chapter Two and consideration is given to the limitations of the methodology. The usefulness of the Ofsted model of school inspection in the professional development of primary teachers is questioned.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Thesis Date:2000
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Aug 2012 11:42

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