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Identity spaces : narratives of being and becoming a teacher


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Porteus, Julie Ann 2010 , 'Identity spaces : narratives of being and becoming a teacher', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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In this research the process of becoming and being a teacher has been explored by seeking to understand the ways in which practical experiences in schools and classrooms shape the identity of beginning teachers. The experiences documented in this research focussed on a particular area within the Arts curriculum: educational drama. The underlying themes of experience, identity and knowledge created a framework to uncover the evolving identity of those participants involved in the study.
The literature highlights the complex nature of becoming a teacher and confirms that teacher identity is dynamic, evolving and subject to change as a result of experience. Knowledge, in the form of approaches and responses to pedagogy, was also found to be shaped by and through experience. Narratives were recognised as the most effective means to document experience, knowledge and identity. From the literature, the concept of liminal identity spaces was developed for this research as a means to understand the ways in which the self as teacher is confronted and altered as a result of experiential teaching moments.
The research process involved an ongoing collaboration with 10 pre-service teachers as they undertook practicum placements during their 3rd and 4th years of a four-year teacher education program and continued into their first year as qualified teachers. The research adopted a narrative inquiry methodology as a means to document the participants' experiences across time and place. These narratives of experience became the conduit for understanding what shaped the participants' emerging teacher identity.
As these beginning teachers entered schools and classrooms they described moving into spaces where they confronted issues related to self as teacher. These spaces were created by factors related to context, relationships and knowledge. It was from within these spaces that the participants sought to understand themselves as educators. These spaces were filled with an array of dichotomous alternatives, challenges, disappointments, enchantments and confirmations. In enhancing understanding of such a space, this research has ultimately contributed to the theoretical and practical knowledge of the process of forming a teacher identity.

Item Type: Thesis - PhD
Authors/Creators:Porteus, Julie Ann
Keywords: Teacher orientation, Teachers, First year teachers, Teachers
Copyright Holders: The Author
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Copyright 2010 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright
owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We
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Available for use in the Library and copying in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968, as amended. Thesis (PhD)--University of Tasmania, 2010. Includes bibliographical references

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