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dc.contributor.authorWitt, Steven Craig
dc.contributor.supervisorDr. Peter C. Taylor

This study demonstrated that learning to teach is a complex endeavor involving more than learning content and methods. Learning to teach involves constructing a new identity and renegotiating previous identities and educational beliefs. Exploring teaching identity through critical reflective practice is at the heart of this research thesis. Research into teachers’ professional identities is a relatively new line of inquiry in teacher development. This study was conducted as an interpretive inquiry into how pre-service teachers construct their teaching identities during a course called Developmental Reading at Lakeshore Lutheran University.While conducting the study, the teacher-researcher awakened his own critical conscious voice by critically examining his own autobiographical stories. The data confirm a closely connected relationship among autobiographical stories, narrated experiences, and identity construction. The study suggests that intentional critical reflection by pre-service teachers—using autobiographical histories, Blackboard discussions, reflective journals, and narrative-based interviews, coupled with a practicum experience—can help to facilitate the process of identity construction and enable pre-service teachers to be critically aware of the shortcomings of the dominant pedagogy. The study found that pre-service teachers frequently thought about what happened to themselves as students, named the types of teachers they hoped to become, and talked about the kinds of teachers they were not.The findings suggest that it is important to examine why we become teachers in order to understand what we do as teachers and how we might teach more authentically. The study suggests that teacher education programs need to empower pre-service teachers by allowing time and space for them to deconstruct their personal learning experiences and their pre-service practicum experiences through critical reflective writing and discussion. In this space, pre-service teachers might be led to take issue with the dominant pedagogy of standardized testing, which has created a culture of standardizing teachers, and come to understand that being a teacher is about impacting lives of children beyond the culture of schooling.

dc.publisherCurtin University
dc.subjectteaching identity
dc.subjectDevelopmental Reading at Lakeshore Lutheran University
dc.subjectpre-service teachers
dc.subjectteacher education programs
dc.titleBecoming a teacher: An interpretive inquiry into the construction of pre-service teachers’ teaching identity
curtin.departmentScience and Mathematics Education Centre
curtin.accessStatusOpen access

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