10 SES 11 C, Teachers' Perceptions and Insights
In the context of research in teacher education, an understanding of the journey to becoming a teacher educator is a ‘hot’ research area because previous researchers have argued that teacher educators are an under-researched population even though they have important responsibility to prepare future teachers (McAnulty & Cuenca, 2014). As a result, many researchers call for the need to understand teacher educator identity since “the identities of teacher educators help shape their dispositions and commitments to certain norms within a teacher education program” (McAnulty & Cuenca, 2014, p. 36).
The literature on becoming a teacher educator has focused on examining teacher educator identity development of two groups: traditional and non-traditional teacher educators (Newberry, 2014). The term traditional teacher educators are those in K-12 education and transition from classroom teachers to teacher educators (Newberry, 2014). For the non-traditional teacher educator, Newberry (2014) defined this group as those who are not previously teachers and decided to step into the profession of teacher educators.
The process of becoming a teacher educator in the non-traditional group has been reported as more difficult and challenging than those in the traditional group (Newberry, 2014). It is because the differences of personal biography of this group affect their experience in the institutional context and the construction of personal pedagogy. The non-traditional teacher educators had to use greater efforts to gain the legitimacy and belonging in the community of educators, creating tensions in becoming a teacher educator (Newberry, 2014).
Since this group in under-researched, the need to understand the experiences of how non-traditional teacher educators learn to negotiate their identity is legitimate and warrants the need for further study. In understanding teacher educator’s experience, Berry (2007) proposed the notion of tensions as a conceptual frame and analytic tool. As a conceptual frame, tension is an internal feeling of chaos, experienced by teacher educators while they attempt to manage conflicting expectations at workplace and personal demands (Berry, 2007). As an analytic tool, the notion of tension offers a useful language to communicate the teacher educator’s experience. Berry (2007) argued that these tensions should be made visible to teacher educators since they help teacher educator recognize their practices, so new knowledge is brought to light (Berry, 2007).
By using the concept of tensions as a conceptual frame, this study was guided by the following research question: What are tensions that a novice teacher educator experiences during the first three years?
Berry, A. (2007). Reconceptualizing teacher educator knowledge as tensions: Exploring the tension between valuing and reconstructing experience, Studying Teacher Education, 3(2), 117-134. McAnulty, J., & Cuenca, A. (2014). Embracing institutional authority: The emerging identity of a novice teacher educator, Studying Teacher Education, 10(1), 36-52. Murray, J., & Male, T. (2005). Becoming a teacher educator: Evidence from the field, Teaching and Teacher Education, 21(2), 125-142. Newberry, M. (2014). Teacher educator identity development of the nontraditional teacher educator, Studying Teacher Education, 10(2), 163-178.
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