ERIC Number: EJ831705
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Reference Count: 37
Uncovering Paths to Teaching: Teacher Identity and the Cultural Arts of Memory
Florio-Ruane, Susan; Williams, Linda G.
Teacher Education Quarterly, v35 n3 p7-22 Sum 2008
This article reports the authors' collaborative research on teacher identity as revealed by examining paths to teaching. When individuals enter the teaching profession, they appear to be making a personal career choice. Beginning educators look ahead, envisioning the teachers they hope to become. At this time it is rare to look backward, to revisit the path that led to the decision to teach. This research acknowledges that apparently personal decisions are supported by and heavily influenced by previous sociohistorical events and ongoing cultural processes. When individuals enter a community of practice, they join others who bring their own particular histories with them. Knowing the stories of one's own path and the stories of the paths taken by others is a significant part of the development of one's identity not only as a teacher--but as a member of the larger teaching profession. Thus the authors began their inquiry both autobiographically and collaboratively, seeking to uncover their own paths to teaching through historical and cultural investigation. The collaborative nature of this work required that the authors conduct their research in conversation with one another, seeking to "connect the webs of their local microcultures into a much more complex network of webs linking human beings over time and across distance and difference." This article reports on that work and also discusses what the authors see as its implications for teacher education.
Descriptors: Teaching (Occupation), Career Choice, Teacher Attitudes, Social Environment, Cultural Context, Context Effect, Professional Personnel, Identification, African American Teachers, Italian Americans, Immigrants, Migration
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A