chapter  11
The Ethico-politics of Teacher Identity
Pages 17

The paper ‘The Ethico-politics of Teacher Identity’ by Matthew Clarke claims that ‘Identity’ is a contemporary buzzword in education, referencing the individual and the social, the personal and the political, self and other. Clarke argues that we can think of identity in terms of teachers ‘arguing for themselves’, or giving an account of themselves. He asks that in the wake of poststructuralism’s radical de-centering of the subject and its highlighting of a number of impediments to agency, we might well ask how teachers are to give an account of themselves. In this sense, this paper offers a reading of identity that recognizes its paradoxical aspects, yet also contains scope for ethical agency. The latter is explored via a ‘diagram’ that utilizes Foucault’s four axes of ethics to elaborate a framework for thinking about teacher identity as ethical self-formation and for engaging in what is referred to here as ‘identity work’. This approach to thinking about teacher identity recognizes our discursive determination, yet also offers scope for recognizing and building ethical agency.