Teachers’ Worlds and Work: Understanding Complexity, Building Quality, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Teachers’ Worlds and Work

Understanding Complexity, Building Quality, 1st Edition

By Christopher Day


208 pages

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Paperback: 9781138048607
pub: 2017-06-29
Hardback: 9781138048591
pub: 2017-06-29
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315170091
pub: 2017-07-14
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Understanding what influences the quality of teachers’ work across a career is key to building and sustaining their on-going commitment and effectiveness. Teachers’ Worlds and Work provides a new, research-informed consideration of key elements which independently and together influence teachers' work and lives: policy and workplace conditions, teacher professionalism, identity, emotions, commitment and resilience, types of professional learning and development, and the importance of the contribution to these made by high-quality leadership. In bringing these elements together, the book provides new, detailed and holistic understandings of their influence and suggests ways of building and sustaining teachers' abilities and willingness to teach to their best and well over their careers. This groundbreaking text will be essential reading for teacher educators, teachers, head teachers and academics.


Early in this volume Chris Day writes: "We now live in a climate in which many teachers struggle to teach to their best and well." For me, the book is a deeply committed investigation of why this is and how teachers in the contemporary world, both through their own determination and through the creation of the right conditions in their schools and classrooms, can challenge this climate. The vision is both realistic and humane, drawing as Day does, on a wide range of research, both his own and that of many other scholars. His great achievement is to join together many different perspectives in order to integrate the insights into a holistic portrayal of what it may mean to be a successful teacher in the twenty-first century.

Ian Menter, Emeritus Professor of Teacher Education, University of Oxford, UK

Almost no-one, worldwide, comes close to having the mastery of research on teachers’ work and teachers’ professional learning and development, that is possessed by Chris Day. In this magnum opus of a text, Professor Day brings together decades of understanding and insight into the core elements of teaching quality such as teachers’ commitment, teacher resilience and teachers’ identity. Day’s work is erudite, accessible and entirely up-to-date, but most of all, it is deeply appreciative of who teachers are, what teachers do and why they do it.

Andy Hargreaves, Brennan Chair in Education, Boston College, USA

This book makes a significant contribution to understanding the complexities of the work and worlds of teachers. It brings together the work, insights and contributions Chris Day has made to the field of education in general and the teaching profession in particular over a long and sustained career. Teachers worlds and work helps us to make sense of how the complexities of teaching and being a teacher are connected to influence the design, development and enactment of government and school policies, strategies, and cultures. Day’s voice as an advocate for teachers and the teaching profession is strong and confident and, with a political intent and an optimistic vision, it provides a voice for all teachers who are concerned with what really matters for the teaching profession and what needs to matter to all those who are concerned with enhancing their work and effectiveness in times of uncertainty, unrelenting change and policy ambiguity.

Judyth Sachs, Emeritus Professor, McQuarrie Unversity, Australia

Table of Contents


1. Teacher professionalism in changing times

2. Professional identities: teaching as emotional work

3. Variations in teachers' work and lives: commitment as a key to quality

4. A capacity for resilience

5. Professional learning and development: combining the functional and attitudinal

6. Learning as a school-led social endeavour

7. The importance of high quality leadership

8. Understanding complexity, building quality

About the Author

Christopher Day is Professor of Education at the School of Education, University of Nottingham, UK.

About the Series

Teacher Quality and School Development

With the continuing concerns of governments worldwide about teacher quality, raising standards and student well-being and citizenship, the series provides coherent, authentic, thoughtful and communicative portraits of the contexts and conditions for understanding and enhancing teacher quality and school development. The aim of this series is to bring together, disseminate and communicate original and authoritative experience and research which will ‘speak to’ teachers, teacher educators, researchers, and other research user communities such as teacher associations, and policy making/implementation organisations.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Educational Policy & Reform / General
EDUCATION / Professional Development