t" INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION REDESIGNING FUTURE iN THE LIGHT OF CURRICULUM STUDIES , Ankara, Türkiye, 9 - 12 Ekim 2019, ss.301-302
EXPLAINING TEACHER IDENTITY: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
CANAN CAKAR - KIYMET SELVI
Teacher identity can be seen as a concept that has been paid special attention in latest years in educational studies (Beauchamp & Thomas, 2009). Sachs (2005:7) suggests the most important feature for teachers to own is teacher identity as it determines the way teachers teach, the way they perceive themselves and how they develop professionally. It is also claimed that teachers with a professional identity can deal with problems more easily (Beauchamp & Thomas, 2009). In the literature, it can be seen that the vague nature of teacher identity is often stressed when it is defined. It is stated that teacher identity is about teachers’ biographies, narratives, beliefs and concepts of their professional roles, however, it is complex, and multifaceted, dynamic across time and place (Beijaard, Meijer & Verloop, 2004; Lasky, 2005). There is no clear answer to the question of how we define teacher identity. Similar to its unclear nature, the formation and development of teacher identity is difficult processes to observe as well. In many studies, it is suggested that biographical elements, early childhood experiences, role models such as teachers, significant others, teacher education or experiences in teaching practice may contribute to the process of teacher identity formation or development (Knowles, 1992; Flores&Day, 2006). As these factors are suggested by different researchers in different categories, it is not easy to response what factors may affect teacher identity. To be able to design curriculum of teacher education effectively or to study on teacher identity in detail, it is important to understand this concept and to determine the factors in the formation and development process of teacher identity. Therefore, the aim of the study is to give a better understanding for teacher identity concept and to determine the factors which affect or shape teacher identity stemming from the recent literature. This study is a qualitative research, and document analysis method, which is one of the qualitative research methods, has been used. Document analysis refers to the analysis of written materials that contain information about facts or phenomena intended to be investigated within the scope of the study (Yıldırım & Şimşek, 2016). Studies conducted on teacher identity formation and development were examined. Three books, four theses and 16 articles written on teacher identity between the years of 1998 and 2018 were studied. The statements to define the identity concept were examined in the first step. After that, the definitions or explanations of professional identity and teacher identity were analysed. It was tried to determine how teacher identity can be formed or developed and by what factors it is affected. According to the findings, the factors were classified under three different categories after content analysis, and it was discussed what other factors may influence teacher identity. The study results were discussed based on the findings. As a result of this study, the concept of teacher identity has been interpreted. When the definitions and characteristics of identity and teacher identity are studied, it can be seen that the variable and complex structure is frequently emphasized in the literature and defined from psychological, sociological or educational perspective. In this case, instead of defining the concept of teacher identity precisely, it may be meaningful to draw its scope and refer to its characteristics. When we review literature, it can be said that teacher identity covers what teachers aim, why they want to be a teacher, how they want to be a teacher, what they do for their personal, professional or academic development, what features they have in affective sense, how they evaluate their professional performances, and the expectations they have for the students and themselves. The factors affecting the formation and development of teachers' identity are diverse and interrelated. According to literature, the factors affecting teacher identity can be categorized as (1) individual factors such as beliefs, values, gender, etc., (2) social and cultural factors such as role models, community expectations, etc., (3) educational factors such as higher education experiences, etc. Being able to control these elements is only possible for the education and training process. Keywords: Teacher identity, teacher identity development, professional identity
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