Overarching professional identity themes in student teacher workplace learning

Han Leeferink (Corresponding author), Maaike Koopman, Douwe Beijaard, Gonny L.M. Schellings

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Abstract

This study reports on how student teachers learn in the workplace. Data from 10 student teachers were collected by means of digital logs and in-depth interviews. By reconstructing data into stories and unravelling these stories, it became clear that the learning process of each student teacher was dominated by one specific theme, such as student-centred teaching or creating a positive learning climate. These themes could be typified as professional identity themes, because all appeared to be both personal and professional. Five student teachers experienced their workplace learning process as continuous: they integrated their teaching experiences relatively easily into their personal conceptual framework. The other five experienced their workplace learning process as discontinuous: they experienced tensions caused by frictions between personal and professional aspects of becoming a teacher. Both types of learning can stimulate and hinder student teachers’ professional development. The findings indicate that reconstructing data into stories and unravelling these stories is a useful technique for understanding student teacher workplace learning as a result of the interaction between personal and professional aspects of becoming a teacher.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-89
Number of pages21
JournalTeachers and Teaching
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • (dis)continuous learning
  • learning from experiences
  • narrative analysis
  • professional identity
  • student teachers
  • Workplace learning

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