01 SES 07 A, Teachers of Young Children
Parallel Paper Session
From the collection of education reforms carried out in the last fifty years, a reoccurring theme, one which is proving to be hard to resolve, is the difficulty that teachers seem to have in changing their notions and representations regarding: what it means to teach and learn, understandings of infancy and youth, and what characterizes good teaching practice, etc. (Sarason, 1990). In the last few years this ascertainment has aroused a growing interest in investigating the situations, processes, experiences and perspectives linked to how teachers construct and negotiate their professional identity (Clandinin y Connelly, 1995; de Gee, 2001; Sfard and Prusak, 2005).
Studies on teacher’s identity construction show variation, both in relation to what they define as professional identity as what is chosen as the focus of analysis. Most research focuses on: (1) the formation of professional identity, (2) the identification of the characteristics of professional identity and (3) studies in which professional identity has been re-presented by teachers’ stories (Beijaard, Meijer and Verloop, 2004).
Furthermore, it should be noted that most research has been particular influenced by the interest aroused by the impact of local and national educational policies on the identity and on teachers' educational practices. This line of research has shown that teachers' professional identity has been a key topic in debates about the crisis of education and school and has served to justify changes in educational policies and in setting the challenges faced by teachers (Dahlgren and Chiriac, 2009; Barrett, 2009, Day et al, 2005; Hedjerassi and Stumpf, 2006; Thomas, 2003).
These and other studies about the professional identity of teachers have highlighted the need for a better understanding of the various strategies manifested by teacher at the time to negotiate their professional identities. In this sense to pay attention to conversations and stories of teachers may broaden our understanding of their professional positioning, especially if it includes the role of context in these processes of identity formation (Bucholtz, & Hall, 2005; Clandinin et al, 2006; Juzwik, 2006).
In addition, now –a-days, in the studying the construction of teachers’ identity in the firsts years of their professional career we should take into account that: (a) the identity is not a fixed and static entity that has certain characteristics that can be identified objectively; (b) the experiences of individuals cannot be classified into distinctive categories without more ado; (c) as argued by David Berliner, we are living in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguos)world (Sancho and Hernández, 2010).
Barrett, B. (2009) No Child Left Behind and the assault on teachers’ professional practices and identities. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25, 1018–1025. Bucholtz, M., & Hall, K. (2005). Identity and interaction: a sociocultural approach. Discourse Studies, 7(4-5), 585-614. Clandinin, D. J., Huber, J., Huber, M., & Murphy, M. S. (2006). Composing diverse identities: Narrative inquiries into the interwoven lives of children and teachers. New York: Routledge. Dahlgren, M. A. & Chiriac, E. H. (2009) Learning for professional life: student teacher’s and graduated teacher’s views of learning, responsibility and collaboration. Teaching and Teacher Education, 25(8), 991-999. Day, C., Elliot, B., & Kington, A. (2005). Reform, standards, and teacher identity: challenges of sustaining commitment. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21(5), 563–577. De Gee, J. (2001). Identity as an analytical lens for research in education. Review of Research in Education, 25, 99-125. Hedjerassi, N., & Stumpf, A. (2006). Discours sur l’école en crise en France: Entre médiatisation et résistance. Canadian Journal of Education, 29(1), 91–108. Juzwik, M. (2006). Situating Narrative-Minded Research: A Commentary on Anna Sfard and Anna Prusak’s “Telling Identities”. Educational Researcher, 35, ( 9) , 13–21. Holstein, J. A.; Gubrium, J. F. (Eds). (2008). Handbook of constructionist research. New York: Guilford Press. Sancho, J. M.; Hernández, F. (2011). Educar en un mundo volátil, incierto, complejo y ambiguo. Entrevista a David Berliner. Cuadernos de Pedagogía, 410, 44 – 49. Sarason, S.B. (1990). The predictable failure of educational reform : can we change course before it's too late? San Francisco : Jossey-Bass. Sfard, A. & Prusak, A. (2005) Telling Identities: In Search of an Analytic Tool for Investigating Learning as a Culturally Shaped Activity. Thomas, S. (2003). ‘The trouble with our schools’: a media construction of public discourses on Queensland schools. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 24(1), 19–33.
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