Exploring the intersection of teachers' negotiation of personal identities, professional identities, and culture expectations

Xu, Xiaolin (2019) Exploring the intersection of teachers' negotiation of personal identities, professional identities, and culture expectations. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Teacher education and professional development programs need to help teachers develop integrated professional identities (Alsup, 2005). This study identified discourses that are important to teachers’ identity development, including teachers’ personal identities, professional identities, and cultural expectations of teachers. From a holistic view of teacher identities, this study explored how teachers negotiate the multiple discourses that they engage in by adopting arts-based research practices, including drawing, film elicitation, and narrative inquiry. Six pre-service and six experienced teachers were invited to draw a teacher image, to review school movies, and to recount lived experiences about negotiating personal and professional identities. This study suggests that teachers experience tensions between the dominant discourses of teaching and their personal beliefs and lived experiences. Teachers perform their personal identities to meet cultural and institutional expectations, but at the same time demonstrate a desire to resist or challenge those expectations that conflict with their personal beliefs. This study encourages teachers to learn to respect their personal selves and to question traditional assumptions about teachers instead of passively accepting them. This study suggests that teacher education and professional development programs need to pay more attention to the interrelationship between teachers’ personal and professional identities and to how teachers negotiate their personal traits and beliefs and the authoritative discourses of teaching. Moreover, this study suggests that arts-based research practices can be incorporated into teacher education programs to help access the emotional struggles that teachers may have and to provide teachers with opportunities to examine both cultural representations of teachers and their personal beliefs about teaching.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/13803
Item ID: 13803
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 186-199).
Keywords: Teacher identities; Cultural expectations of teachers; teacher education programs; Arts-based research; Pre-service teachers; Experienced teachers
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: March 2019
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Teachers--Training of; Teachers--Attitudes

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