Now I think of myself as a Physics Teacher: Negotiating professional development and shifts in self-identity

C. Woolhouse, M. Cochrane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

This paper reports on the findings of research carried out with two cohorts of science teachers engaged in professional development by investigating how these teachers perceived any changes they experienced. In particular we engaged with the work of Foucault on power/knowledge to cast a critical lens over the qualitative data collected in order to explore how the teachers came to know themselves as specific types of professional subjects: namely as physics or chemistry teachers. This paper details how teachers perceive shifts in their professional self-identities by attending to three key themes: subject knowledge and competence, peer support, and the reflective practitioner. In the conclusion we suggest that if individuals come to identify themselves as subject specialists they become integrated in particular communities of practice. This integration can enhance teachers’ subject knowledge and pedagogic practice, but also impact upon job-satisfaction, which in turn can increase science teacher retention. Keywords: Science teachers, professional development, teacher identity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-618
JournalReflective Practice
Volume11
Issue number5
Early online date11 Oct 2010
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Oct 2010

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