Reflective practice and identity construction: the particularities of the experiences of teachers specialising in dyslexia

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Abstract

This paper explores the impact for teachers’ identity of undertaking professional development designed to enhance provision for children identified as having dyslexia, in line with the recommendations made by the UK Government. In the paper the concept of ‘participation in communities of practice’ is taken as a departure point for investigating how reflective practice can inform professional identity. The data reported upon were gathered through focus groups and narrative life history interviews conducted with teachers on a Specialist Dyslexia Training for Teachers Programme. The paper identifies and investigates the ways in which teachers who work with dyslexic pupils view themselves as different from other teachers, as having distinct attributes and different motivations for pursuing their chosen career paths. These findings are reviewed, and it is argued that reflection can enable teachers to become better learners, develop their practice and feel integrated into a specific community of practice. However, tensions that arise from perceptions that these teachers have a distinct positioning in the school community are also explored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)747-760
JournalReflective Practice
Volume13
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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