An investigation into the factors involved in the formation and construction of teachers identity.
University of Wales Institute, Cardiff.
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The development and maintenance of a strong teaching identity is regarded by many educational researchers to be fundamental to the personal and professional aspects of teaching (Fautley & Savage,2010; Hamel & Ryken, 2010 and Beauchamp & Thomas, 2009). For the teachers themselves, a defined teacher identity is regarded to be essential to their sense of worth and self-efficacy in their daily professional lives. Yet, research has shown that the attainment of a strong teaching identity may stand at the core of the profession as a whole, associated as it is with powerful feelings of agency and self-motivation. If this is the case then it would seem reasonable to suggest that the development of such an identity should begin during the professional training programme. This small-scale research project focussed on a cohort of drama students undertaking their Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Secondary Drama. The aim of the study was to analyse whether their training programme was helping them to shape and construct their emerging teacher identity and, if so, what specific components of the programme were successful in doing this. It also aimed to highlight where changes could be made to enhance this aspect of programme delivery. The methodology used for this research was case study. The main data collection methods were questionnaires, interviews and focus groups. The questionnaires were used to explore student teachers' pre-training experiences and their views on how these impacted on the development of their personal identity. The questionnaires also looked at pre and post school experience perspectives on teacher identity development. Interviews were used to elicit personal responses to the university and school experience elements of the programme as a way of probing the student teachers' understanding of where and how these elements nurtured their teaching identity. Finally, focus groups were used to gather viewpoints on the use of media extracts as a possible tool for encouraging a more reflective response to teacher identity development. The findings suggest that student teachers feel that the majority of their PGCE Secondary Drama programme is aiding the development of their teaching identity. However, this process is implied rather than being explicitly stated resulting in a need for stronger links to be made between the content of the programme and how this develops their teaching identity.
MA Education Thesis
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