During the last decades higher education has met a new group of students due to the successful strive to broaden the scope of students’ background. The Swedish student group of today is described in terms of social class (categorized by their parents’ educational status), but there is not much more known about this group. The objective of the project in which this study is part of is to describe and analyze the students’ own voices concerning their choice of attending higher education as well as other aspects connected to the students being introduced to, and becoming part of, academia. This is important also because the identity developmental aspects of higher education have been tuned-down during later years (Mark 2009). The aim of this particular paper is to describe and analyze how the students in different teacher programs (preschool, elementary/middle school, and upper secondary school) motivate their choice of becoming a licensed teacher and also to describe and analyze their view of the teacher role.
The research questions for this paper are 1) what motives do the students report for becoming a teacher, 2) what conceptions of the professional role of a teacher do the students report 3) what conceptions of pupils do the students report?
This study is conducted within the field of conversational narratives (cf. Bamberg 2004, De Fina & Georgakopoulou 2012). Students’ statements are seen as connected to discourses, and their positioning within them as part of their personal identities. In this tradition small stories (Bamberg & Georkakopoulou 2008) from spoken conversations are analyzed, but in our study the answers of an open questionnaire is treated as conversational even though they are written. There are of course important differences between stories emerging spontaneously in a multiparty conversation and those that answers questions formulated beforehand through written media. The differences are connected to both the process of a story being told and the story per-se, i.e. the product. Still, there are similarities in the way of dialogically position oneself when answering questions in the form of a small story. The concept of positioning, which is central to our project, has been taken from Davies and Harré (1990). The term refers to the fixing points in the dialogues, where the various stories in the discourse emerge. We also use the concepts of voice (Bakhtin, 1981, 1986) and footing (Goffman, 1981) to describe contextual aspects and transfers between different belongings.
Bachtin, M. (1981). The dialogic imagination: four essays. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press. Bachtin, M. (1986). Speech genres and other late essays. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press. Bamberg, M. (2004). Positioning with Davie Hogan: Stories, Tellings and Identities. In C. Daiute & C. Lightfoot Narrative Analysis. Studying the Development of Individuals in Society. London: Sage Publications. Bamberg, M. & Georgakopoulou, A. 2008. Small stories as a new perspective in narrative and identity analysis. Text & Talk - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse Communication Studies. Vol. 28:3, p. 377–396. Davies, B. and Harré, R. (1990). Positioning: The Discursive Production of Selves. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour. Vol. 20:1, p. 43–63. De Fina, A. & Georgakopoulou, A. (2012). Analyzing narrative: discourse and sociolinguistic perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Goffman, E. (1981). Forms of talk. Philadelphia: Univ. of Pennsylvania Press. Mark, E. (2009). Livslångt lärande ur bildningsperspektiv som strategi för högskolan. Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet, Grundtviginstitutet.
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