Teaching has once been considered as a lifelong profession in Hong Kong, especially by older generations of teachers who entered teaching from the 1960s to 1970s. Yet given the increasingly rapid changes and uncertainties in the school education environment since the 1990s, newly qualified teachers in the 2000s have become well aware of the "death" of a career. Anxiety arising from the renegotiation of career continuities and discontinuities also prevails among teachers of different generations. This paper draws on findings of two life history studies with a sample of 47 primary and secondary teachers who entered teaching from 1960s to 2000s. The choice of informants took into consideration of other variables such as, gender, types of professional qualifications, teaching subjects and career development. Semi-structured life history interviews, as well as analysis of public and policy documents were employed to study the characteristics of teachers' lives and work against the contextual factors contributing to their subjective career experiences. The unique political situation of Hong Kong and its economic relationship with the Chinese Mainland; the social and cultural values on teaching and family roles were found interwoven with the changing educational contexts, constituting an increasingly frequent need for teachers to reconceptualise the notion of career and renegotiate their work lives. In light of contemporary career theories, implications of the changing face of career for teaching as a public service are discussed.
|Publication status||Published - 2010|