Studying teachers' work and lives:
This chapter is in three parts. The first two provide a critical overview of selected literature which informed the research. The third part focuses upon what was known, prior to VITAE, about variations in the development of teachers' effectiveness. From the outset, VITAE brought together research in two areas: mainly quantitative research on teacher (and school) effectiveness on the one hand, and mainly qualitative research on teachers' work and lives on the other. Each of these has, in the majority of cases, been associated with 'paradigm-specific' methods of data collection and analysis. Despite many studies (Mortimore and Watkins 1999; Muijs and Reynolds 2005) and syntheses of research (Brophy and Good 1986; Walberg 1986; Wittrock 1986) on these areas individually, no major research study had examined the interplay between primary and secondary teachers' perceived and relative effectiveness, and their work lives in schools in different socio-economic contexts over an extended period of time. In this part of the chapter, we will explore issues relating to schools, classrooms and pupils from the perspective of the teacher and school effectiveness research. The largely qualitative studies of teachers' beliefs, conditions of work and lives place teachers at the centre of debates on quality and standards. We will explore these in Part 2 of this chapter in order to bring together what is known about influences which affect teachers' work, lives and effectiveness.