AMERICAN JOURNAL OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH
Teacher Identity, Positionality and (Mis) Representation of Religion in the Ghanaian School Contexts: Insider/Outsider Case Study Perspectives

Richardson Addai-Mununkum 1 *

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp. 40-59

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Abstract

Studies on teacher religious identity have been premised on the assumption that public schools are religiously neutral and if teachers’ religious identities are acknowledged and properly accommodated, teaching will be better enacted. I conducted a qualitative case study of teachers in religiously affiliated public schools in Ghana to get a nuanced understanding of how they navigate tensions arising from complexities generated by their own religious identities, their schools’ and that of their students. Using data from interviews, observations, and focus groups, my findings challenge existing notions of religious neutrality of public schools. In the Ghanaian context where the lines between secular and religious schools are blurry, teachers are (un)knowingly positioned as in(out)siders and their consequent pedagogical (in)actions are highly influenced by such (un)natural religious tensions in their schools. It is such issues emanating from teacher positionalities that I seek to highlight as ripe for qualitative inquiry.

Keywords: Qualitative Research, Africa, Religion, Teacher Identity, School Ideology

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