Wormald, Jane (2020) Career-Faring Policy: The Use of Graphic Elicitation and Visual Representations to Analyse Life Course Narratives of Teaching Assistants in Pursuit of a Teaching Career. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Unstable, expensive and complex routes for mature students in part-time higher
education remain a barrier to hidden potential and talent that could serve to address
current teacher shortages. This study assesses the effect of transient policies on
inequities in access and success in the educational career routes of eight teaching
assistants in pursuit of a teaching career, alongside celebration of their concomitant
persistence and ingenuity. By employing Bourdieuian based Careership theory with
the novel use of graphic elicitation and visual representation techniques, it introduces
and enhances methods that draw out nuances affecting people in a variety of
contexts at different times in the life course. The focused attention on temporal
influences significantly enrich the life course narratives educed from the semistructured

Findings indicate interrelationships in temporal, agentic, cultural and structural
dimensions in the participants’ ever-changing contexts. Consistencies were seen in
socio-cultural dimensions, particularly through recognition, by managers, peers and
family. Acknowledgement of their value, contribution and potential, supported their
tenacity to reach their goal. Common challenges were in having to be constantly
alert to risk factors: in the length of time to acquire qualifications, financial
sustenance and work/life balance issues alongside expected financial gain, personal
satisfaction and meeting of affective needs.

Results enabled by the novel methods, show findings that contribute to a call to
enable stable yet flexible career routes to teaching that are designed for access
across the life course. The research suggests that lowering the risk threshold of
entry to teaching and raising the reward between investment and work/life balance
requires policy makers to recognise diverse lifelong rights of entry to the profession.

FINAL THESIS - Wormald, Jane.pdf - Accepted Version
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