10 SES 08 D, Professional Identity, Understanding Wellbeing and Care and Responsibility
Recent national (Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group, 2015) and international reports (Program for International Student Assessment, 2012) have expressed concern about the quality of initial teacher education programs. A key concern is the disconnect between theory and practice highlighting the need for authentic tertiary assessment to deepen preservice teachers’ understanding of the complexity of teaching and learning. In response to the concerns identified thus far and the related theoretical concepts, a conceptual framework has been developed to guide the research design. This framework is used as a basis to develop the deep arguments that support its structure in the literature review and ultimately provide a basis for its contribution to knowledge.
The inner circle includes both the core beliefs and the beliefs that preservice teachers espouse about teaching and learning. Teacher beliefs are core to the conceptual framework because initial teacher educators have become increasingly aware that on entry to teacher education programs, preservice teachers bring with them a myriad of experiences, assumptions, and beliefs about teaching and learning (Feiman-Nemser & Remillard, 1996).
The second circle of the conceptual framework encompasses the notion of becoming a teacher (who I think I am); that is, the individual adopts an identity that incorporates beliefs, images, and constructs about people, learning, and knowledge. Danielewiez (2001) defined identity thus, “… identity refers to how individuals know and name themselves and how they are recognised and regarded by others” (p. 3).
Preservice teachers’ practice, particularly pedagogy, is the focus of the third circle in the conceptual framework. Sociocultural theories have provided a conceptual tool for understanding effective practice adopted in early childhood contexts, that of the preservice teachers I teach. These theories draw heavily on the work of Vygotsky (1962), and more recently Rogoff (1990). Vygotsky (1962) saw the social environment as being instrumental to a child’s learning, with Rogoff extending this view to include “the development of children in the context of their own communities” (Rogoff et al., 1998, p. 228).Preservice teachers who adhere to sociocultural beliefs about teaching and learning adopt a social constructivist paradigm. This means these preservice teachers believe in creating a student-centred environment where the control of the power is shared between the teacher and students. This shared control is often revealed by the quality of classroom talk and interactions.,
Linking the circles.
Metaphor was chosen as a bridge to explore preservice teachers’ beliefs about their teacher professional identity. By definition, “metaphors constitute linguistic analogic devices that compare a new/unknown concept to a known concept to illuminate a quality of the former” (Stylianou, Hodges-Kulinna, Cothran & Kwon, 2013, p. 23). Wan and Low (2015) support this choice in their statement that metaphors have emerged as a powerful tool for investigating teachers’ thinking and professional knowledge in the field of education.
Critical reflection has also been included in the conceptual framework as a process for preservice teachers to determine the quality and effectiveness of their teaching using an evidence of practice approach. Reflection has a core process that leads to an understanding of self and oneself when situated within a professional context (Beauchamp, 2015). Therefore, reflection is a key factor in the shaping and reshaping of teacher identity and helps teachers to find a path from the outside (practice) inwards through their identity to their beliefs (Cooper & Olson, 1996; Kerby, 1991). Moreover, reflection is an essential ingredient of effective teaching and teacher development (Zeichner, 2008). So if we consider teacher identity development, the notion of reflection must be included as part of the process in the formation of an effective professional identity.
Design-based research (Wang and Hannafin, 2005) sought to capture the effectiveness of the self-study inquiry in making explicit to preservice teachers their beliefs about teaching and learning, their image of self as teacher as revealed through metaphor and their pedagogy used in practice. There is a complex relationship between theory and practice in educational research (Moore, 1982). Anderson and Shattuck (2012) emphasised that design- based research should contribute to building up the theory to increase the impact and translation of educational research into practice. Iterative cycles of design were used in a systematic and flexible way to determine impact on the formation of preservice teachers’ professional identity. Theories provide different lenses for researchers to view complex and practical problems (Reeves, Albert, Kuper, Hodges, 2008). Multiple forms of data were gathered including surveys, written metaphors and principles of pedagogy, artefacts of authentic practice, analysis of a recorded teaching episode and appraisals of preservice teachers’ critical reflection on their professional growth and identity. These data were analysed to inform how the elements of the self-study inquiry process contributed to the shaping and reshaping of preservice teachers’ professional identity through understandings about their beliefs, professional identity and practices.
The results indicate that all preservice early childhood teachers envisaged themselves as social constructivists and were able to analyse evidence of their practice to determine its effectiveness to varying degrees of proficiency, ranging from a minimal understanding (Level 2) to an advanced understanding (Level 5). The findings from this study afford the following contributions to knowledge: the North Philosophy of Education Metaphor Taxonomy and the North 5Is model of inquiry, which is an effective five step process (Interrogate, Illuminate, Innovate, Investigate and Iterate) designed to guide the self-study inquiry. In addition, three models were developed to contribute to the formation of an effective preservice teacher identity. First, is a new envisioning model to scaffold the imagining of self as teacher; second, is a new model to guide a holistic approach to critical reflection; and third, is a model to guide the formation of an effective teacher professional identity in initial teacher education expanded from an existing published model of factors which influence teacher identity. The self-study inquiry is a powerful pedagogical tool in initial teacher education for shifting surface learning to deep learning by creating an authentic context for professional growth as evidenced by the findings of this study.
Anderson, T., & Shattuck, J. (2012). Design-Based Research: A decade of progress in education research, Educational Researcher', 41(1), 16-25. doi:http://edr.sagepub.com/content/41/1/16 Beauchamp, C. (2015). Reflection in teacher education: issues emerging from a review of current literature. Reflective Practice, 16(1), 123-141. Danielewicz, J. (2001) Teaching selves; Identity, pedagogy, and teacher education. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Feiman-Nemser, S., & Remillard, J. (1996). Perspectives on learning to teach. In F. B. Murray (Ed.), The teacher educator's handbook (pp. 63-91). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Stylianou, M., Kulinna, P., Cothran, D., & Kwon, J. (2013). Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 32, 22-45. Amsterdam, NL: John Benjamin’s Publishing Co. Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group, (2015). Action Now: Classroom Ready Teachers. Canberra: Department of Education. Wan, W., & Low, G. (2015). Elicited metaphor analysis in education discourse. Amsterdam, NL: John Benjamin’s Publishing Co. Vygotsky, L.S. (1962). Thought and Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Wang, F., & Hannafin, M. J. (2005). Design-based research and technology- enhanced learning environments. Educational technology research and development, 53(4), 5-23.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
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