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Active location in teachers' construction of their professional identities

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Identity as a teacher is partly given and partly achieved by active location in social space. Social space is an array of possible relations that one person can have to others. Some of these relations are conferred by inherited social structures and categorizations and some are chosen or created by the individual. Sets of practices (traditions) convey possibilities within social space. The development of a teacher's professional identity is largely dependent on the quality and availability of these varied factors. This paper identifies the craft, scientific, moral and artistic traditions as significant in educational practice. Although current trends emphasize a narrow aspect of the craft tradition and the technology of teaching, the multi-dimensional nature of teaching is recognized. Teachers need to be aware of many potential positions they might assume. Policies that impose greater degrees of uniformity and conformity threaten to impoverish the notion of active location.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1999-11-01

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