Building preservice teacher capacity and professional identity using metaphor and critical reflection as tools to illuminate beliefs, identity and practice

PhD Thesis


North, Deborah. 2017. Building preservice teacher capacity and professional identity using metaphor and critical reflection as tools to illuminate beliefs, identity and practice. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/5c0606338a828
Title

Building preservice teacher capacity and professional identity using metaphor and critical reflection as tools to illuminate beliefs, identity and practice

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorNorth, Deborah
SupervisorTrimmer, Karen
Donovan, Jennifer
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages246
Year2017
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/5c0606338a828
Abstract

Recent national and international reports have expressed concern about the quality of initial teacher education programs. A key concern is the disconnect between theory and practice highlighting the need for authentic tertiary assessment to deepen preservice learning.

This doctoral research is focused on the development of an effective teacher professional identity and how this impacts on practice. Metaphor and critical reflection were used as tools to illuminate connections between preservice teacher beliefs, their professional identity and their practice. In response to the literature, the researcher developed a tertiary course to facilitate a self-study inquiry for preservice teachers situated in a five-week professional experience. The self-study inquiry was designed to build their capacity to determine the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of their practice by coming to know themselves better.

Design-based research sought to capture the effectiveness of the self-study inquiry in making explicit to preservice teachers their beliefs about teaching and learning, their image of self as teacher as revealed through metaphor and their pedagogy used in practice. Iterative cycles of design were used in a systematic and flexible way to determine impact professional identity. Multiple forms of data, including surveys, written metaphors and principles of pedagogy and artefacts of authentic practice were gathered to inform how the elements of the self-study inquiry process contributed to the shaping through understandings about their beliefs, professional identity and practices.

The results indicate that all preservice early childhood teachers envisaged themselves as social constructivists and were able to analyse evidence of their practice to determine its effectiveness to varying degrees of proficiency, ranging from a minimal understanding (Level 2) to an advanced understanding (Level 5). The findings from this study afford the following contributions to knowledge: the North Philosophy of Education Metaphor Taxonomy and the North 5Is model of inquiry, which is an effective five-step process (Interrogate, Illuminate, Innovate, Investigate and Iterate) designed to guide the self-study inquiry. In addition, three models were developed to contribute to the formation of an effective preservice teacher identity. First, is a new envisioning model to scaffold the imagining of self as teacher; second, is a new model to guide a holistic approach to critical reflection; and third, is a model to guide the formation of an effective teacher professional identity in initial teacher education expanded from an existing published model of factors which influence teacher identity.

The self-study inquiry is a powerful pedagogical tool in initial teacher education for shifting surface learning to deep learning by creating an authentic context for professional growth as evidenced by the findings of this study.

Keywordsteacher education; preservice teachers; early childhood teachers; professional identity; practice
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390307. Teacher education and professional development of educators
390302. Early childhood education
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q4v63/building-preservice-teacher-capacity-and-professional-identity-using-metaphor-and-critical-reflection-as-tools-to-illuminate-beliefs-identity-and-practice

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