07 SES 10 B, Teachers’ Professional Identities towards Diversity
There is a consensus among educators that the purpose of public education is to “develop citizens who can actively work towards a democratic and sustainable society, one that values cultural diversity for what it offers to community problem solving and for the essential role that bio-diversity plays in the very possibility of living systems.” (Martusewicz, Edmundson and Lupinacci (2011: 19). These same authors provide a number of valuable practical suggestions on how to work towards this goal from the classrooms, but in schools of education there is little agreement on how to prepare teachers to confront the inequalities and unjustice present in their own classrooms. We believe that there is little research on how the interaction of teachers with ethnically and linguistically diverse students can enhance the formers “socially responsible behavior” or it can trigger an activist identity (Sachs 2001). We agree with Farnsworth´s (2010) view of identity as being enacted through discourse and in constant negotiation. She proposes that "a social justice teacher identity is negotiated (Wenger, 1998) with respect to lived experiences and culturally informed reflections on those experiences (Connelly & Clandinin, 1990)" (p. 1482). Thus, reseach that focuses on the actual interactios of teachers with students is needed to find out how teaching identity (Beijaard, Meijer and Verloop, 2004; Flores and Day, 2006) develops and in particular, those aspects of this identity that relate to social justice.
In this presentation we draw from different narrative interviews with two experienced teachers in the Basque Country, Spain. This context is particularly relevant for the changes it has experienced. Thus, over the last two decades, Spain has evolved rapidly from a classic labour exporter to a labour importer. Despite Spain's migration history -predominantly to the Americas, and until the early 1970s to some industrialized countries in Western Europe, Spain is now the second country in the world with large-scale immigration (Hierro, 2013). This sociological fact has had a clear impact on the composition of the classes where teachers´ identities are negotiated. Although future research can addres the needs of novice teachers, for this presentation we decided to focus on experienced teachers because they are the ones that have lived the tremendous changes sociologists talk about, namely, the transition in Spanish classrooms from more homogeneous classes to a diversed populatin in the classrooms.
Beijaard, D., Meijer, P. C. and Verloop, N (2004). Reconsidering reseach on teachers´professional identity. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20: 107-128. Clandinin, D. J. (2007). Handbook of Narrative Inquiry. Mapping a Methodology. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications, Inc Conle, C. (2000). Narrative Inquiry: Research tool and medium for professional development. European Journal of Teacher Education, 23(1), 49–63 Day, C. (2006). Pasión por enseñar: la identidad personal y profesional del docente y sus valores. Madrid: Narcea. Flores, M. A. and Day, C. (2006). Contexts which shape and reshape new teachers´ identities: a multi-perspective study. Teaching and Teacher Education, 22: 219-232. Connelly, M.F. and Clandinin, J.D. (1990). Stories of experience and narrative inquiry. Educational Researcher, 19(5): 2-14. Farnsworth, V. (2010). Conceptualizing identity, learning and social justice in community-based learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26: 1481-1489. Hargreaves, A. (2005). Educational change takes ages: life, career and generational factors in teahcers´emotional responses to educational change. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21: 967-983. Hierro, M. (2013). Latin American Migration to Spain: Main reasons and future perspectives. International Migration.
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