Undermined professionalism: Strategic impression management among early childhood educators

Reut Liraz*, Ori Eyal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent decades, accountability reforms often impinged on teachers' professional discretion, in particular devaluing the status of early childhood educators (ECEs). Given this erosion, the present study explores how ECEs renegotiate their image to elevate their professional standing and prestige. In-depth interviews with 72 Israeli ECEs indicated that while enhancing their personal prestige and esoteric knowledge consumption proved ineffective, collective-oriented impression management (IM) was found to be a transformative strategy, successfully fostering status elevation. Contrary to previous research, findings uncovered educators' IM orientation and drive, which breach the symbolic/knowledge IM dichotomy to explicate ECEs’ status stagnation or elevation.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number104089
JournalTeaching and Teacher Education
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Accountability reforms
  • Early childhood education
  • Impression-Management
  • Professional development
  • Professional status
  • Professionalism


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