Teachers’ sense of professional identity in Ghana: listening to selected teachers in rural Northern Ghana

Journal article

Ayinselya, Roger Abogzuah 2020. Teachers’ sense of professional identity in Ghana: listening to selected teachers in rural Northern Ghana. Practice. 2 (2), pp. 110-127. https://doi.org/10.1080/25783858.2020.1831736
AuthorsAyinselya, Roger Abogzuah

This article is drawn from my PhD study, which explored teachers’ sense of professional identity in two rural districts of Northern Ghana. As the concept of professional identity takes on different meanings as a variety of issues often arise in any effort to understand it, it was important to put the concept in context in this research. Hence, professional identity was conceptualised as the way teachers feel about themselves as teachers based on interpretation of their experiences. Data was gathered through semi-structured interviews and participant observations, while analysis involved exploring themes inherent in the data. The findings show that there were competing dimensions of teachers’ sense of professional identity as they were torn between passion and frustration; fulfilment and despondency. Teachers still showed commitment to fulfiling their personal values and professional responsibilities in teaching. However, they were prone to losing their sense of commitment, as constantly striving without the enabling conditions to do so was taking a toll on them.

The findings have implications for policy and practice which include the need to create contexts for teachers to participate in policy decisions. Education authorities, school heads and parents also need to empathise with teachers and show appreciation through praise and valuing their expertise. On their own part, teachers need to feel valued inwardly, so they can feel a positive sense of identity as teachers who are making significant contributions to the lives of children and improvement of society.

KeywordsTeachers' professional identity; Rural districts; Northern Ghana
Journal citation2 (2), pp. 110-127
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/25783858.2020.1831736
Official URLhttps://doi.org/10.1080/25783858.2020.1831736
Publication dates
Online18 Oct 2020
Print02 Jul 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited03 Jun 2021
Output statusPublished
Permalink -


  • 6
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 6
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as