10 SES 06 A, Professional Identity & Teacher Identity: Motivations
The literature on learning to become a teacher has been previously characterized as the process of acquiring knowledge, attitudes, and skills; however, recent studies have pointed out that learning to teach is the process of adopting and developing teacher identity (Alsup, 2006; Danielewicz, 2001). As a result, this study attempts to use teacher identity as an analytic lens to explore how student teachers learn to become teachers during the teacher education and how teacher education nurture identity development.
By conceptualizing student teachers’ learning as an identity development project, the questions arise: how is teacher identity constructed during the teacher education? What are the roles of teacher education in nurturing teacher identity? With these simple, yet vital questions, teacher educators will be able to understand the complexity of learning to become a teacher, adding to the knowledge base to educate future student teachers.
Even though it is important to focus on student teacher identity development, little is known about how this process actually works long term while student teachers are in the teacher education program. Extensive review of the literature found only three studies that focuses on identity development in teacher education (Alsup, 2006; Anspal et al., 2012; Danielewicz, 2001)
Based on these studies, teacher identity construction in the teacher education yielded inconsistent results. Researchers have pointed out either that teacher education program had limited roles in facilitating this process or had vital roles in helping student teachers. For example, Danielewicz (2001) investigated teacher identity construction in the United States context and found that the teacher education program did not do anything with student teacher identity construction. Alsup (2006) found similar findings in the United States context. Anspal et al. (2012) conducted a study in Estonia and found that the teacher education programs mediated teacher identity development.
Because of these inconsistent results in previous studies, a further study in Thailand context warrants as a legitimate need to conduct research. By studying the roles of teacher education programs in nurturing teacher identity construction, teacher educators will be able to use the knowledge in designing teacher education curriculum, practice, and program. Also, knowledge base in the field of teacher education in an international context will be expanded, adding to the discussion of why different contexts yield different results.
Alsup, J. (2006). Teacher identity discourses: Negotiating personal and professional spaces. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Danielewicz, J. (2001). Teaching selves: Identity, pedagogy and teacher education. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press.
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