10 SES 07 B, Teacher Education: Identities, Practices, Professionalism
Internationally, teacher education has undergone dramatic change over recent decades in response to the global pressures of neoliberalism, national political and policy agendas for tertiary education and teacher education more specifically, and localised institutional re-structuring (Zuljan & Vogrinc, 2011). In Aotearoa New Zealand, as in European nations, the work of teacher educators has been re-framed in response to these forces for change. Within specific contexts, but in response to shared pressures, teacher educators have had their professional work brought into relief and their professional identities challenged (Davey, 2013). There is a growing body of work that positions teacher education as a specific social practice, discipline and profession (eg. Loughran, 2006), and that explores issues and aspects of teacher educator identity (including Bates, Swennan & Jones, 2011; Davey, 2013; Murray & Male, 2005). There is, though, a limited amount of research that distinguishes pre-service and in-service teacher education and focuses on the heterogeneous nature of teacher education. This paper seeks to illuminate issues relating to teacher educator identity negotiations that may be similar or different for different groups of teacher educators.
Theoretically, we take as starting points the notions of identity as socially constructed, subjective, plural, and subject to constant personal negotiations as people position and re-position themselves within social and institutional contexts (Hollway, 1984; Pinnegar & Murphy, 2011), and professional identity as the ‘valued professional self’ (Davey, 2013). Teacher educators’ identity negotiations are complex. They are tied up with individual teacher educators’ lived experiences and how they want to personally present themselves in the performance of their roles as teacher educators, the development of a collective identity as a professional community, and the positioning of teacher educators within institutional structures. We posit that pre-service and in-service teacher educators’ identity negotiations reflect a shared professional identity, while also reflecting different tensions in roles and positioning in relation to institutional structures and hierarchies. Through the review of a selection of research studies that explore teacher educators’ lived experience and professional identity negotiations, we examine the veracity of this claim.
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