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Teacher Possible Selves: How Thinking about the Future Contributes to the Formation of Professional Identity

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Researchers see the value of future-oriented thinking for teacher development. Inthis study, ten teacher candidates (Elementary = 1; Middle-level = 2; Secondary = 6; All-level = 1) from a large university in the southwestern United States were interviewed about their teacher “possible selves,” and the regulative role these had on learning-to-teach behaviors. We found that all participants regulated behaviors through the use of strategies; used future thinking to gather information about progress; and derived incentive about themselves as teachers. We also found that for many participants possible selves changed, in a relatively short period of time, in response to reflection, mentors and experiences. This work contributes to a growing body of evidence concerning the usefulness of teacher identity in thinking about teacher development.
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Keywords: Possible selves theory; Reflection; Self-regulation; Teacher development; Teacher identity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: College of Education, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2013

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