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ERIC Number: EJ1050175
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Dec
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1175-8708
Enabling/Disabling English Teachers' Identities as Innovative Professionals
Kempe, Elspeth; Reed, Yvonne
English Teaching: Practice and Critique, v13 n3 p56-70 Dec 2014
In the extensive literature on teacher professional development, very little attention has been paid to the role of post-graduate study groups, or to the role of on-going professional conversations, in constituting and sustaining teachers' identities as innovative professionals. The purpose of this article is to suggest that on-going professional conversation is valuable for sustaining innovative identities and practices. The authors present and discuss findings from an analysis, informed by post-structural theory, of lexical artefacts identified in interviews with eight English teachers who had been members of the same study group for the duration of their postgraduate studies. These interviews were conducted two years after their graduation with MA degrees in English Education. A key finding is that at the time of the post-graduation interviews, the figured worlds and identities-in-practice (Holland, Lachicotte, Skinner, & Cain, 1998) of the teachers differed significantly according to whether or not they had remained in professional conversation with members of the affinity group (Gee, 2000-2001) first constituted by the study group. A second finding showed that on-going, informal professional conversations appeared enabling for the sustaining and further developing of identities as innovative teachers of English. Therefore, we suggest that schools and universities investigate ways of facilitating and supporting such informal conversations as an alternative or as an addition to more formal programmes of professional learning.
Wilf Malcolm Institute for Educational Research, University of Waikato. PB 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand. Tel: +64-7-858-5171; Fax: +64-7-838-4712; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A