Images of teaching: Discourses within which pre-service teachers construct their professional identity as a teacher upon entry to teacher education courses

Robyn Therese Brandenburg, Ann Gervasoni

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    This chapter explores the initial constructions of teaching and teachers that pre-service teachers (PSTs) bring to teacher education. Little attention has been paid to the impact of these initial constructions on the development of PSTs’ professional identities. We collected and analyzed 181 PSTs’ visual representations of their conceptions of a teacher early in the first semester of their Bachelor of Education Degree courses at the Mt Helen Campus of Federation University Australia and the Ballarat campus of the Australian Catholic University. Analysis of these visual representations involved both content and discourse analyses that produced both dominant and marginalized discourses. The dominant discourses included teaching as transmission; teacher as the charismatic and caring subject; teacher as professional; teacher as knowledgeable; and teaching as complex. We also identified silent or marginalized discourses including teaching as collaborative; partnerships with parents, colleagues and others; discourses of diversity and difference; use of contemporary technology and reflective practice. We argue that it is important for teacher educators to understand and respond to these initial dominant and marginalized discourses when designing teacher education experiences and content. Teacher educators who acknowledge and intentionally address PSTs’ professional identities upon entry to University are better placed to assist PSTs’ to construct professional identities as teachers who are change agents, advocates and pedagogical leaders, as opposed to teachers who reproduce the status quo.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTeacher Education
    Subtitle of host publicationInnovation, Intervention and Impact
    EditorsRobyn Brandenburg, Sharon McDonough, Jenene Burke, Simone White
    Place of PublicationSingapore
    Number of pages22
    ISBN (Electronic)9789811007859
    ISBN (Print)9789811007842
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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