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Storied identities: teacher learning and subject-matter context

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This paper examines the role of elementary teachers' identities as teachers and as learners on their teaching and learning practices. Using teachers' literacy stories and mathematics stories as representations of their identities in the two subject-matter contexts, we find a common literacy identity across the 10 teachers in the study, but three distinct mathematics identities emerged within the group. The common literacy story is set both in school and at home and its theme is one of continual progress and learning. The three types of mathematics stories - 'turning point', 'failing' (foreclosed), and 'roller-coaster' - are distinguished from one another, based primarily on their tones and on their descriptions and interpretations of recent experiences. The effects of these different stories on teachers' practices are examined and implications for the design of curriculum and professional development are considered.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2001

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