Etchells, Matthew James (2018-12). How Pre-Service Teachers Make Sense and Form Professional Identities as Teachers During Initial Field Placement in an Alternative and Discipline Alternative Education Placement. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • With beginning teachers leaving teaching as a career in droves within five years of being certified, unpacking initial field placement experiences of pre-service teachers is critically important to understanding the emergence of their identities or 'stories to live by' expressed in narrative terms. This dissertation employs narrative inquiry--that is, uses narrative as a research method to study people's storied experiences--to delve into how three diverse pre-service teachers made sense of and formed their professional identities. As pre-service teachers during an initial field placement at an alternate and discipline alternative education placement in Texas, their stories offer a rich and varied tapestry of teaching, learning, subject matter, and the milieu of alternative education. Moreover, their interwoven narratives of experience illuminate the impact that connectedness has on teacher-student, and pre-service teacher-mentor relationships. These understandings make important knowledge contributions to the local, national and international research base on teaching and teacher education. Equally important are the insights this research offers about the nature of alternate and discipline alternate education campuses as sites of identity construction. Cumulatively, this dissertation study reveals--through the sharing of pre-service teachers' narratives of experiences--what could potentially be done to reduce beginning teacher attrition and to retain and sustain teachers in ways that positively develops their identities--their 'stories to live by'--and helps ameliorate their 'stories to leave by', which constitutes an escalating national and international phenomenon. The findings of this research provide valuable insight into teacher as learner, being and becoming, the best-loved self, teachers as curriculum makers, and the metaphors pre-service teacher use to describe their experiences. The findings shine the spotlight on a distinct phase of teacher preparation during pre-service teachers' initial field placement experience. Pre-service teachers in this phase are termed cotyledon teachers, which is the original knowledge contribution of this dissertation study.
  • With beginning teachers leaving teaching as a career in droves within five years of being certified, unpacking initial field placement experiences of pre-service teachers is critically important to understanding the emergence of their identities or 'stories to live by' expressed in narrative terms. This dissertation employs narrative inquiry--that is, uses narrative as a research method to study people's storied experiences--to delve into how three diverse pre-service teachers made sense of and formed their professional identities. As pre-service teachers during an initial field placement at an alternate and discipline alternative education placement in Texas, their stories offer a rich and varied tapestry of teaching, learning, subject matter, and the milieu of alternative education. Moreover, their interwoven narratives of experience illuminate the impact that connectedness has on teacher-student, and pre-service teacher-mentor relationships. These understandings make important knowledge contributions to the local, national and international research base on teaching and teacher education. Equally important are the insights this research offers about the nature of alternate and discipline alternate education campuses as sites of identity construction. Cumulatively, this dissertation study reveals--through the sharing of pre-service teachers' narratives of experiences--what could potentially be done to reduce beginning teacher attrition and to retain and sustain teachers in ways that positively develops their identities--their 'stories to live by'--and helps ameliorate their 'stories to leave by', which constitutes an escalating national and international phenomenon. The findings of this research provide valuable
    insight into teacher as learner, being and becoming, the best-loved self, teachers as curriculum makers, and the metaphors pre-service teacher use to describe their experiences. The findings shine the spotlight on a distinct phase of teacher preparation during pre-service teachers' initial field placement experience. Pre-service teachers in this phase are termed cotyledon teachers, which is the original knowledge contribution of this dissertation study.

publication date

  • December 2018