Constructing New Professional Identities
This book provides a unique insight into the learning experiences of career change professionals in teacher education. Many studies have provided a brief glimpse into the experiences of people making a career change into teaching, but this book offers an in-depth analysis of the day to day struggles and triumphs of a small group of career change students studying teacher education in Australia. This study locates teacher professional learning within a sociocultural research paradigm, highlighting the importance of social, cultural and institutional contexts in learning. Learning to become a teacher is not merely the acquisition of a set of technical skills and propositional knowledge, but a far more complex personal struggle to construct a new professional identity. This book uncovers some of the trials, tribulations and joys of becoming a teacher for those who have already worked in other careers. It examines the impact of previous career experiences on the construction of a new professional identity as a teacher. This process is discussed using the conceptual framework of learning within communities of practice. Firstly, a broad-brush picture is presented through analysis and discussion of extensive quantitative data obtained via an on-line survey, after which a small group of survey respondents provide a more nuanced exploration of their experiences as student teachers. This is followed by three case studies that delve more deeply into the experiences, frustrations and joys of being an 'expert novice' in teacher education. These case studies examine the stories of three career changers who provide personal insights into what it is like to be an experienced professional embarking on a new journey as a novice student teacher.
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