Date of Award


Degree Name

Curriculum and Instruction


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Elizabeth Campbell

Second Advisor

Luke Eric Lassiter

Third Advisor

LeAnne Olson

Fourth Advisor

Linda Spatig


This study explored the perceptions of teachers, the current culture of teaching, and ways to regain influence within the teaching profession. Some scholarly researchers have begun to analyze and critique this current culture of deprofessionalization of teachers (Barantovich, 2006; Beijaard, Meijer and Verloop, 2004; Bolton and Muzio, 2008; Boote, 2006; Duncan, 2009; Goldstein, 2014; Ingersoll and Merrill, 2012; Ingersoll and Perda, 2012; Ingersoll and Perda, 2008, Kuhn, 2014; Labaree, 1992; Lee, 1995; Lortie, 1975; Milner, 2013; Ravitch, 2011; Rooney, 2015; Sachs, 2001; Wills and Haymore Sandholtz, 2009). Very little is known, however, about how teachers themselves are experiencing this phenomenon of deprofessionalization in their daily work lives. This qualitative study featured the authentic voice of seven public school teachers in West Virginia, who, during a ten-week period, responded to five open-ended questions. In the framework of Photovoice, a Participatory Action Research method that employs image and narrative to involve participants in data collection and interpretation, each participant submitted three images and captions per prompt and attended two focus group sessions. Findings indicated: Teachers are disempowered and disheartened; parents and teachers are disillusioned equally with their relations; opinions of teacher quality are deprecated; and rates of teacher burnout are pronounced. Practices connected to the study offered examples of participatory methods associated with Photovoice as well as critical reflection and dialogue to stimulate collaboration, reflection, understanding, and encouragement among teachers who seek a professional identity. In essence, the emergent themes identified in the study indicate that teachers negotiate themselves into an identity that is based upon forces from outside of the profession that deprofessionalize in regard to construction of educational policy, instructional design, and professional identity.


Teachers -- Professional relationships.