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Title: Teacher identity construction : exploring the nature of becoming a primary school language teacher
Authors: Fajardo Castaneda, Jose Alberto
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Central to this study is the question of how teachers construct their professional identity. This research explores the process of becoming a teacher and consequently of the construction of identity in terms of three specific components: belonging to a teacher community, the relationship between systems of knowledge and beliefs and classroom practice, and professional expectations for the future. A group of six Colombian preservice teachers in the final stage of their five-year teacher education programme were research participants. This case study used interviews, stimulated recall and on-line blogs as methods of data collection, and content analysis as the analytical approach. The findings reveal that while the process of learning to teach is individually constructed and experienced, it is socially negotiated. A teacher’s identity not only comprises personal knowledge and action, but is also influenced by the ideological, political and cultural interests and circumstances surrounding teachers’ lives and work. The research participants exhibited a permanent struggle between developing a personal professional style and coping with the restrictions imposed by living in a particular type of society that has already defined what teachers should do. Nevertheless, they manifested wellgrounded principles and theories of language teaching and learning and the purpose of education, and awareness of their potential as a new generation of teachers. This suggests that they had developed a sense of professional identity; a way to see themselves as teachers. This evolving identity sometimes conflicted with experience once they had faced the reality of classrooms, assumed institutional roles or negotiated modes of participation within a teacher community. The findings could be used as a point of departure in order to introduce changes into the curricula of teacher education programmes. The study has relevance for policymakers in planning action promoting professional development in pre-service and in-service teacher education.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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