10 SES 03 C, Developing Professional Identities: Key concerns and values
Unlike many countries, in Portugal teacher surplus and unemployment amongst new teachers are two intertwined realities with implications for the recruitment of student teachers in higher education institutions and for new teachers’ job expectations. More recently, a profound financial and economic crisis has been affecting Portuguese society at various levels, including the teaching profession and initial teacher education, with higher rates of unemployment. Thus, the teaching profession and teacher education have been facing complex challenges with implications for student teacher recruitment. This paper presents data from a broader piece of research aimed at investigating professional identity development in initial teacher education. It is based upon the view of identity as a dynamic and multifaceted process and initial teacher education as a key context for its development.
Existing literature on teacher professional identity has expanded especially over the last 15 years. It has been used as an organising element in teachers’ development as professionals focusing on their beliefs, actions, influences and contexts of training and workplace (Beijaard et al 2000; Flores & Day 2006; Thomas and Beauchamp, 2011; Zimmermann, et al. 2012; Flores 2006). These studies point to the multi-perspectival and multi-dimensional process of teacher identity development which is influenced by personal, social and cognitive response as it implies an “ongoing and dynamic process which entails the making sense and (re)interpretation of one’s own values and experiences” (Flores and Day 2006).
More recently, a growing body of literature has highlighted the key role of initial teacher education (ITE) as a crucial context for developing teacher identity (Grossman, et al. 2009; Timostsuk and Ugaste 2010) but it also acknowledges the scarcity of research and teacher education practices, programme design and activities (Zimmermann, et al., 2012). In this regard, Beauchamp and Thomas (2009, 186) stress that teacher education programmes seem to be “the ideal starting point for instilling not only an awareness of the need to develop an identity, but also a strong sense of the ongoing shifts that will occur in that identity”.
The role of the context of training in the formation of identity has been stressed in research literature although evidence is scarce (Schepens, et al 2009). As Zimmermann et al. (2012) state, student teachers are confronted with and need to make sense of different aspects of their role as teachers, namely the school as an institution, the children and young people as students; teachers’ work with its responsibilities, colleagues, and students’ parents. ITE should therefore be able to provide student teachers with guidance and support on how to “become” good teachers involving the personal and professional change rather than in “knowing” about teaching (Schepens, et al. 2009).As such, it is important to look at the ways in which ITE provides opportunities for student teachers to develop their professional identity, taking into account their concerns and aspirations in challenging times as it is the Portuguese context.
In order to become a teacher in Portugal, a three-year degree (licenciatura) is needed, plus a master’s degree in teaching (usually a two-year program, varying from 90 to 120 credits).
This new configuration of professional training results in a reduced time and space for practicum, with implications for the pedagogical activities that student teachers are able to do. As Moreira and Vieira (2012: 97) stated, ‘the impact of this structural change is not yet clear; will second-cycle student teachers take teaching more seriously because they had more time to decide to become teachers, or will they take it less seriously because their training is shorter. And will they be able to integrate subject and pedagogical knowledge now that these curricular components are clearly separated?’.
Beauchamp, C. and Thomas, L. 2009. “Preparing prospective teachers for a context of change : reconsidering the role of teacher education in the development of identity”, Cambridge Journal of Education, 39(2): 175-189 Beijaard et al 2000; Clandinin, D. J.; Pushor, D. and Orr, A. M. 2007. “Navigating sites for narrative inquiry”, Journal of Teacher Education, 58(1):21-35 Elliott, J. 2005. Using Narrative in Social Research. Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches,London: Sage. Flores, M. A. 2006. “Being a Novice Teacher in Two Different Settings: Struggles, Continuities, and Discontinuities”. Teachers College Record, 108(10):2021-2052 Flores, M. A. and Day, C. 2006. “Contexts which shape and reshape new teachers’ identities: A multi-perspective study”. Teaching and Teacher Education, 22(2): 219-232. Glaser, B. G. and Strauss, A. L. 1967. The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. Chicago: Aldine. Miles, M. and Huberman, M. 1994. Qualitative data analysis. An expanded sourcebook (2nd edition). Thousand Oaks: CA, Sage. Moreira, M.A., and Vieira, F. 2012. “Preservice teacher education in Portugal. The transformative power of local reform”. In Globalism and Power. Iberian Education and Curriculum Policies, edited by J. M. Paraskeva and J. Torres (Eds). New York: Peter Lang. Sancho, J. M., Correa, J. M., Giró, X. and Fraga, L. 2014. Aprender a ser docente en un mundo en cambio. Simposio internacional. Barcelona: Dipòsit Digital de la Universitat de Barcelona Schepens, A.; Aelterman, A. and Vlerick, P. 2009. “Student teachers’ professional identity formation: between being born as a teacher and becoming one”. Educational Studies, 35 (4): 361-378 Thomas, L., and Beauchamp, C. 2007. “Learning to live well as teachers in a changing world: Insights into developing a professional identity in Teacher Education”. Journal of Educational Thought, 41(3): 229-243. Thomas, L., and Beauchamp, C. 2011. “Understanding new teachers’ professional identities through metaphor”. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27: 762-769. Timostsuk, I. and Ugaste, A. 2010. “Student teachers’ professional identity”, Teaching and Teacher Education, 26: 1563-1570 Zimmermann, P.; Flavier, E. and Méard, J. 2012. “L’ identité professionnelle des enseignants en formation initiale », Spiral-E. Revue de Recherche en Éducation, 49: 35-50
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.