An exploration into the development of professional teacher identity of student teachers in Wales

Bleasdale, Catharine (2023) An exploration into the development of professional teacher identity of student teachers in Wales. Doctoral thesis, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

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Using the Community of Practice (CoP, Lave & Wenger, 1991) as the theoretical model, the study explored the development of professional teacher identity during Initial Teacher Education (ITE). Narrative inquiry was used to obtain personal reflections of ITE experiences from eight student teachers as they came to the end of a variety of pathways to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The purposive sample consisted of mature and younger student teachers following an undergraduate, post-graduate or employment-based route to teaching. The study focused on two research questions, namely: • How do student teachers perceive their Professional Teacher Identity development during their initial teacher education? • In what ways does engagement with the teaching community of practice during their initial teacher education affect student teachers’ professional teacher identity development? The use of narrative inquiry provided the opportunity to show the very personal, individualised nature of professional teacher identity development. Each student teacher’s narrative is presented as a vignette to capture the richness of their journey and to make visible the process of analysis. The thesis contributes to the field of teacher professional learning generally, and specifically to the area of professional teacher identity development, by drawing attention to individuals’ pivot points that identify the relative influence of self and others. The data indicates that although there is movement between a student teacher’s need to maintain their own identity and their desire to fit into the CoP, they each possess a personal tipping point where they feel comfortable. The study offers a diagrammatic representation of an individual’s pivot that may scaffold the reflections of student teachers, their mentors and tutors to support effective professional teacher identity development during ITE. The study also contributes to the field of Community of Practice within the context of ITE, suggesting that a combined CoP including both university and school partners would provide student teachers with a more cohesive experience as they progress from Legitimate Peripheral Participation (Lave & Wenger, 1991) to a more integral position within the teaching community of practice. This study indicates that considering the contexts as two separate CoPs creates conflict for student teachers as they navigate their way towards their professional teacher identity during ITE. The study is of interest to those involved in teacher professional learning and providers of Initial Teacher Education generally; Wales is the context of the study, but the outcomes will resonate internationally for those involved in ITE provision.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: teacher education, community of practice, narrative inquiry, teacher identity
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Theses and Dissertations > Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Catharine Bleasdale
Date Deposited: 24 May 2023 14:44
Last Modified: 24 May 2023 14:53

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