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ERIC Number: EJ1077180
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1927-5250
Constituting the Identity of an Elementary School Teacher in the 21st Century World of Teaching and Learning
Gatimu, M. Wangeci; Reynolds, Mary Mangan
Journal of Education and Learning, v2 n4 p154-165 2013
The study uses teacher identity as a lens to explore how teachers make sense of their work and constitute professional identities in the often complex world of teaching and learning. Three teachers who completed the same teacher preparation program and taught in the same school district were observed and interviewed for the study in 2009-2010. A multiple case methodology was used to explore the question: How do teachers who go through the same teacher preparation program and teach in the same school district constitute their professional identities? Findings indicate that school and district mandates have a strong influence in shaping teacher identities because these mandates appeared to either limit or distract teacher reflective practices. It was found that teachers caught up in the logic of the mandated curricular and assessments were less likely to use constructivist frameworks to understand student perspectives or to connect with the lived experiences of their students. On the other hand, it was found if a teacher was engaged in critical inquiry about teaching and learning, that teacher was likely to use multiple assessment strategies to understand students, and was likely to engage student learning through open-ended, classroom conversations. We concluded that since a teacher is the single most important factor affecting student achievement, school districts should be forums for continuous teacher learning. The goal for such learning should be to create adaptive experts or--teachers who continually expand the breadth and depth of their expertise. Additionally, such learning should be both practice--centered and inquiry oriented.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A