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Resolving identity dissonance through reflective and reflexive practice in teaching

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date05/2006
JournalReflective Practice
Journal number2
Volume7
Number of pages13
Pages233-245
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

We address the key aim of this special issue through a focus on teachers' self-reflection, in particular the construction and integration of personal and professional identities, drawing on data from two studies. The first is a case study of a male nursery teacher (from a study by Warin) which examines how dissonance is experienced in identities concerning status and gender and how it is resolved through a synthesis of class teaching with fathering. The second harnesses survey data (from the Teacher Status Project) of 'nearly qualified teachers' about to embark on their professional lives, and of practising teachers, in which we focus on their reasons for becoming a teacher, exploring discontinuities between actual and desired teacher identities and the transformations that take place over time. The data from the two studies emphasize the importance of 'technologies of the self' in order to develop teacher self-awareness. We support a shift in interpreting the meaning of reflective practice towards an emphasis on teachers' reflexive practice. We recommend that teachers be given opportunities and strategies for the active creation of expanded narratives of self, and identify examples of how this might be achieved.