Verbal and Visual Strategies of Teachers' Work on Identity

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Year of publication 2014
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source New Educational Review
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Pedagogy and education
Keywords expert teacher; identity; professional development
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Description The paper describes qualitative research which studied six teachers from their professional beginnings to the present position of an experienced – expert – teacher. The research method used is life story, through which the teacher's career is reconstructed. The key research question is: What strategies of work on identity did a teacher use to become an expert teacher? The most important motor of change and particularly of a teacher's development was his/her decision and commitment to the development of his/her identity (Pittard, 2003). Snow and Anderson (1987) labelled this process as work on one's identity. I will discuss only verbal and visual strategies, which the teacher uses to influence the environment at school in general (verbal distancing, gossip, and strategy of uniqueness). The paper concludes with a discussion of how necessary the verbal and visual strategies directed towards the school space are for the teacher's professional identity. Had they no power, teachers could not influence decision-making processes.
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