ERG SES G 11, Sociologies of Education
Nowadays the previous professional opportunities to the labour market, such as the university internship, are highlighted and well valued due to its utility in terms of training for higher education students (Chivas, Ramos & Moral, 2017). This fact implies to the international educational community which is responsible of guiding students to choose their own professional future through these experiences (Lawson, Çakmak, Gündüz & Busher, 2015).
Professional opportunities are linked to the concept of identity as the way in which people define themselves as well as to others in the work place (Beijaard, Meijer & Verloop, 2004). This concept reacts and can be modified due to the influence of the context and the personal characteristics (Avidov-Ungar & Forkosh-Baruch, 2018).
On the one hand, internship is a window for educators and pedagogues to discover their own professional role and how it can contribute to improve the current educational reality (De Jong et al., 2013). On the other hand, the professional identity develops in a constant change, specifically in the education field, where the identity is also defined as the image of ourselves, created gradually by the social recognition (Akkerman & Meijer, 2011). The evolution of the concept is relevant for future educators and teachers. They are the personal and profressional reference for their students’ identity in a changing world. Thus, the professional identity is linked to the emotional component implied in this experience. This emotional involvement is developed through the values, beliefs and current social demands (Bieda, Sela & Chazan, 2015).
We take critical consciousness into account, which push the educators to participate actively in their context as well as to identify personal and professional strengths and weaknesses. The reflective processes about the own performance in the internship context are considered the previous stage of the teacher professionalisation (Colás-Bravo, Magnoler & Conde-Jiménez, 2018). All this combine with the social relationships which are main elements in the emergence and development of the emotional factor. In this sense, it is necessary to deepen the importance of emotions and feelings from the students’ perspective facing the internship (Jackson, 2017). Therefore, the pre-service teachers and educators shape their own professional role thanks to the reflection generated through social professional environments (Trede & McEwen, 2015; Depaepe y König, 2018).
Moreover, quality and suitable performance and advice from the professional tutors are another key factor at the internship institutions (Silva et al., 2016). It is highlighted that the professional tutor’s support, based on reflection and feedback processes, provides pleasant and collaborative relationships (Llopis, 2017). Everything is about answering the question: Who I want to become?, through reflective processes shared with other points of view.
The main objective of this research is to analyse the emotional impact of the internship in the formation and development of a pre-professional identity of future pedagogues during their internship.
The methodology is based on the qualitative approach to answer the previous objective. The methodological design is phenomenological through a session of focus group. Specifically, two sessions of focus group are conducted as semi structured procedures to collect information. The information is also collected thanks to the direct observation as well as the notes taken by the researcher about non-verbal language, social interactions, interventions, etc. The study is conducted at the Faculty of Education Sciences (University of Seville). The participants are 12 students who are enrolled in the internship programme of Pedagogy university degree . They are the final participants since they were the students who accepted to collaborate with this project. In addition, it is decided to conduct the study with this number of participants due to the features of the focus group procedure (Then, Rankin y Ali, 2014). There are 11 women and 1 man. The students accomplished their internship in different places: 2 public schools, 2 private schools, a psychological and pedagogical centre, 2 old’s people homes and a temporary employment company. There are 2 sessions of focus group (each session lasts 90 min. approximately). The structure of the focus groups starts with some categories previously selected and based on the reviewed studies. The first main category “Pre-professional identity”, which tries to explore the recognised key factors by the students as relevant elements to this issue during the internship experience. The initial subcategories here are: "self-esteem", "emotional impact", and "definition of myself as professional during the internship". Another mian category is “facing internship”, whose subcategories are generated during the focus group sessions: "deciding the context of internship", "showing interest", and "main personal purpose of my internship programme". Both sessions of focus group are voice-recorded to facilitate the subsequent analysis. It is used Atlas.ti programme (7th version) to codify and categorise the information in order to analyse the interactions and discourses of the participants during the focus groups. Different networks include the information from the transcripts of the sessions as well as the identified commonalities and differences.
In conclusion, it exists an important impact of the emotional factor in the training processes. It is developed through the created social relationships during the internship. From the students’ perspective, the emotional dimension affects to their performance as well as to the definition of the professional who they hope to become. A high self-esteem arises through positive emotional experiences which are elements described as initial generators of a pre-professional identity. The subcategory “emotional impact” is generated due to the closest relations (i.e tutors, colleagues, peers). These realtionships are identified in the common discourse. Moreover, self-esteem of students is generated through the reflection after receiving feedback from the social networks. Critical consciousness could start to be built from this moment. Students describe themselves as empathetic human support. It is considered an important part of their own identity as educators. They highlight to have been proactive, a fact that allows to the institutions to “take a breath”. Students highlight the importance of a good choice when they choose the internship institution. Showing interest during the internship is another pointed out key attitude. The last subcategory is commonly defined: learning is the goal. Identifying the good performance of a specific job requires to observe the environment and to be open to constant changes and unpredictable issues. We can affirm that the relationships with the professional context help to develop the pre-professional identity of pedagogy students. They show concern and engagement with the social demands in the educational field currently. They show responsibility at the same time they feel emotionally involved in the tasks. For future studies, the exploration of different levels of sustainable consciousness would be another important factor to investigate at the internship experiences (Avidov-Ungar & Forkosh-Baruch, 2018; Colás-Bravo, Magnoler & Conde-Jiménez, 2018).
Akkerman, S. F. & Meijer, P. C. (2011). A dialogical approach to conceptualizing teacher identity. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(2), 308-319. Beijaard, D., Meijer, P. C., & Verloop, N. (2004). Reconsidering research on teachers' professional identity. Teaching and Teacher Education, 20(2), 107-128. Bieda, K. N., Sela, H. & Chazan, D. (2015). “You Are Learning Well My Dear”: Shifts in Novice Teachers’ Talk About Teaching During Their Internship. Journal of Teacher Education, 66(2), 150–169. Chivas, I., Ramos, G. & Moral, A. Mª. (2017). Análisis de la satisfacción de los estudiantes del grado de Pedagogía de la Universidad de Valencia. Revista Complutense de Educación, 28(3), 755-772. Colás, P., Magnoler, P., y Conde, J. (2018). Identification of levels of sustainable consciousness of teachers in training through an e-portfolio. Sustainability, 10(10), 1-18, https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103700 De Jong, R., Van Tartwijk, J., Wubbels, T., Veldman, I. & Verloop, N. (2013). Beginning and end of the internship: Student teachers’ interpersonal profiles and the accuracy of their self-beliefs. European Journal of Teacher Education, 36(4), 393–412. https://doi.org/10.1080/02619768.2013.835801 Depaepe, F. & König, J. (2018). General pedagogical knowledge, self-efficacy and instructional practice: Disentangling their relationship in pre-service teacher education. Teaching and Teacher Education, 69, 177–190. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2017.10.003 Jackson, D. (2017). Developing pre-professional identity in undergraduates through work-integrated learning. Higher Education, 74(5), 833–853. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-016-0080-2 Lawson, T., Çakmak, M., Gündüz, M. & Busher, H. (2015). Research on teaching practicum – a systematic review. European Journal of Teacher Education, 38(3), 392–407. https://doi.org/10.1080/02619768.2014.994060 Llopis, M. Á. (2017). Pensamiento reflexivo en el Prácticum I del alumnado de Grado de Maestro en Educación Primaria a través de diarios online. (Tesis Doctoral). Universitat Jaume I: Castelló de la Plana. https://doi.org/10.6035/14034.2017.6627 Avidov-Ungar, O. & Forkosh-Baruch, A. (2018) Professional identity of teacher educators in the digital era in light of demands of pedagogical innovation. Teaching and Teacher Education, 73, 183-191. Silva, P., Lopes, B., Costa, M., Seabra, D., Melo, A. I., Brito, E. & Dias, G. P. (2016). Stairway to employment? Internships in higher education. Higher Education, 72(6), 703–721. Then, K. L., Rankin, J. A. & Ali, E. (2014). Focus group research: what is it and how can it be used? Canadian Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, 24(1), 16–22. Trede, F. & McEwen, C. (2015). Early workplace learning experiences: What are the pedagogical possibilities beyond retention and employability? Higher Education, 69(1), 19–32.
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