Exploring narratives of the motivation of School Governors

PhD Thesis


Tee, R. 2018. Exploring narratives of the motivation of School Governors. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Teacher Education and Development
AuthorsTee, R.
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDegree of Doctor of Philosophy
Abstract

Communities are increasingly atomised in post-modern times where individuation and anomie are increasing, and a deeper understanding is required of why individuals give their time to community involvement. The thesis explores an example of community engagement by investigating the motivation of school governors and how this role is part of lives and learning.

The historical context is outlined and the case is made for the beneficial and desirable effects of community involvement through reference to classical authors. By looking at current societal circumstances through contemporary authors as well as factors relating to feminism and by delving into individual responses to questions about why they volunteer, the research is necessarily interdisciplinary, and draws on different references to history, sociology, psychology and politics.

The research used a qualitative methodology and the significance of this form of enquiry is considered. During 2012 and 2013 auto/biographical qualitative interviews were conducted with four school governors. An additional longitudinal element was added as they were re-interviewed after one year. The resulting narratives were analysed for themes and issues and the author's own reflexive narrative is included as one of the four to locate herself in the work. Different ways of accessing auto/biographical information were explored and crystallisation of the results was employed.

The vital role of motivation is explored across the micro, meso and macro levels of engagement. The central argument is that a psychosocial interpretation is needed to start to understand what prompts individuals to put themselves forward for such a community role. Drawing on the work of Winnicott (1971), a unique combination of psychological factors relating to family background, upbringing and inherited values could be seen to be work agentically in conjunction with societal structures and mores to move an individual to this voluntary work. Reflecting Mills’ (2000) treatise on the role of human agency in determining history, the different narratives showed the interface between these psychological and sociological elements and exhibited a clear need for recognition as outlined by Honneth (1995). The results show the necessity to explore motivation with volunteers to encourage a successful involvement through identifying unique motivational factors and attending to those aspects which enhance self-esteem and self-respect. The conclusions indicate lessons for the recruitment and retention of school governors which are relatable to volunteering generally.

KeywordsSchool Governors; motivation
Year2018
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Publication process dates
Deposited15 Nov 2019
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https://repository.canterbury.ac.uk/item/89168/exploring-narratives-of-the-motivation-of-school-governors

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