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The ethnic separation of the school system in Northern Ireland along Catholic and Protestant community lines limits opportunities for daily cross-community interaction between young people. Recent research has shown that, whilst the deployment pattern of teachers is largely consistent with this divide, a small proportion of teachers has diverted from the community-consistent path and are teaching in a school not associated with their own community background. Narrative interviews with a purposive sample of these cross-over teachers has provided rich insights into their experiences. The research presented here explores the extent to which these cross-over teachers felt able to reveal and engage their ethnic identity in their teaching. A mixed pattern is observed; whilst some had endeavoured to hide or disguise their identity, others had embraced their otherness and were consequently better placed to achieve agency in their practice.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Northern Ireland
- Teacher identity
- ethnic division
- segregated education
- teacher agency
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