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Understanding teacher identity: an overview of issues in the literature and implications for teacher education

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While literature on teaching emphasizes the importance of identity in teacher development, understanding identity and the issues related to it can be a challenging endeavour. This article provides an overview of the issues revealed in recent discussions of teacher identity: the problem of defining the concept; the place of the self, and related issues of agency, emotion, narrative and discourse; the role of reflection; and the influence of contextual factors. A particular focus is placed on identity in pre-service teachers and new practitioners. Implications of an understanding of these issues for programmes of teacher education are highlighted.

Keywords: pre-service teachers; professional identity; teacher education; teacher identity; teacher reflection

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03057640902902252

Affiliations: 1: Bishop's University, Canada 2: Universite de Sherbrooke, Canada

Publication date: June 1, 2009

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