Teacher’s professional identity: configurations of personal and contextual factors

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    Aim In the present study, beginning teachers joined identity workshops to support their development of a positive, realistic professional identity. For constructing such an identity entails reconciling processes of the personal and contextual side of becoming and being a teacher (Beijaard & Meijer, 2017; Day et al., 2007). Beginning teachers should find a satisfying balance between what they personally find important for their teaching and the professional demands set by their schools. Much research is already done on teacher’s professional identity, yet more insight is needed into what configurations of personal and contextual factors make a teacher identity, the aim of this study. Methodology During four professional development meetings, 46 beginning teachers from 13 secondary schools received several exercises to discuss their professional identity. Afterwards they noted their answers to reflective questions in a personal notebook. Their notes resulted in diverse data. To get grip on these data, per teacher one overall description of personal and contextual factors was constructed. Further analysis of these descriptions resulted in overarching themes. Within some descriptions more themes were found, whereas in other descriptions one theme was deduced. Finally, the themes were visualised in terms of configuration of personal and contextual factors underlying the themes. Although the configurations are a comprehensive image of more teachers, the individual teacher can still be located. Findings Five overarching themes were formulated: 1) Classroom management, 2) Students learning, 3) Workload, 4) Collaboration 5), and Standing up for oneself. The number and type of personal and contextual factors discerned within each configuration differed, although there was overlap. For example, the personal factor ‘being a perfectionist’ was found within four configurations, except for Student learning. The contextual factor ‘impact of team/organization’ was present in the configurations of Student learning, Workload, and Standing up for oneself. Although each configuration included a number of factors, not all factors were present in the individual teacher’s descriptions used to construct the configuration. Consequently, a specific combination of personal and contextual factors is related to each teacher’s theme, indicating that reconciling personal and contextual factors is an idiosyncratic process. In the SIG presentation, examples of specific combinations will be presented.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPaper presented at SIG Professional Learning and Development, September 11th-14th Geneva, Switzerland
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018
    Event9th International conference of the EARLI SIG 14 - Geneva, Switzerland
    Duration: 12 Sep 201814 Sep 2018

    Conference

    Conference9th International conference of the EARLI SIG 14
    Country/TerritorySwitzerland
    CityGeneva
    Period12/09/1814/09/18

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Teacher’s professional identity: configurations of personal and contextual factors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this