Teacher Socialization and Teacher Isolation

Teacher Socialization and Teacher Isolation

Turgay Öntaş
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5228-4.ch008
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This study addresses teacher socialization and isolation primarily within the context of induction to the profession, workplace learning, and informal learning. Since the content of the subject is covered by fields of sociology, pedagogy, psychology, management, and organization, the concepts of induction to the profession and workplace learning were used to establish the basis for teacher socialization and isolation. How the teacher socializes influences the quality of education because socialization influences how the teacher performs his job. Increased interest in teacher training results in increased teacher quality, thereby increasing educational success. Increased interest in teacher training is accompanied by pursuit for quality in teacher training systems. Increasing teacher quality is not only related to training the teacher in preservice programs. Considering the fact that there are teachers who had received preservice training, yet started the profession prematurely, in-service learning processes are important in efforts to ensure teacher quality as well.
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Although they have different organizational objectives and resources, educational institutions are nonetheless institutions similar to those in health, banking, engineering, or transportation industries. Educational organizations, which include numerous institutions from preschool education to higher education and from formal education to non-formal education, are founded to meet a certain portion of the society’s educational needs. In general, organizations are open social systems which aim to perform regular tasks to achieve predetermined objectives and consist of individuals who voluntarily coordinate their energy (Balcı & Aydın, 2003). As living organisms, educational organizations influence many factors, and are influenced by many factors as well.

From an integrative theoretical perspective, Bronfenbrenner’s bioecological systems theory is important in that it shows the way educational organizations influence and are influenced. Its structure in educational system is manifested as multidimensional and complex relationships where teachers, families, school atmosphere, environmental conditions, legislations, regulations, and culture. When addressing this structure, the bioecological approach which does not describe the individuals as a separate being from its environment focuses on the human dimension of education, rather than mechanical and economic solutions. The human factor may have a determining role when we address factors which influence the educational organization from a system or bioecosystem perspective. The theoretical structure surrounding the individual from his immediate environment to his distant environment with his genetic structure, gender, and temperament in the center examines culture, organizational socialization, politics, and technology holistically (TEDMEM, 2015). As in other organizations, the human factor is an outcome of the way members think and interact in educational organizations as well (Senge, 2014). Statements used by teachers and teacher educators such as “A school is measured by its teachers” or “It is not the content of the course, it is the teacher who teaches it” point to the role of human factor. The human factor can be used to examine the concept of influencing and being influenced within the context of organizational culture.

Beginning teachers learn the profession of teaching within organizational culture. Lortie (2002) notes that teachers are informally re-trained by their colleagues and rules and roles in the school where they start their service. Organizational culture includes many concepts such as norms, values, rituals, symbols, ideologies, and developing systems (Hoy & Miskel, 2012). As no individual can act independent of the culture of the community in which he lives, the employee cannot act independent of organizational culture. Organizational culture is the entirety of an organization’s emotions, meanings, atmosphere, character, and image. Thanks to organizational socialization, new teachers participating in the organization are able to learn and share the values, norms and procedures. The teacher’s socialization within the school is related to formation and indoctrination of the educational system. The socialization of the teacher occurs in the school especially in terms of the action dimension of socialization and it allows for the transfer of cultural elements of the organization. Thus, the teacher becomes a part of the daily life of the organization through rituals, routines, and social actions. Connections between these rituals, routines, and actions may be revealed by researching cultural situations within the organization, the socialization process of new members, critical events in the organization’s history, creators and carriers of beliefs, values, and assumptions and analyzing unexpected situations and exceptional developments (Schein, 1993).

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