Professional Identity Formation through Narrative Research: “How much the Personal and the Professional are Intertwined?”

By Yehudith Weinberger and Pnina Shefi.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

One of the more intriguing issues in the field of narrative research is the formation of student teachers’ professional identity, which can be studied by analysis of their life stories. The processes of writing and inquiry are grasped as a journey into deep layers of the self. This study was conducted within a teacher training program for academics, as part of a course “Teachers Inquire into their Field Practices.” Two student teachers’ narratives were analyzed by means of qualitative tools: literary and interpretive content analysis by the emic approach. The findings present five main themes (categories) identified in student teachers’ papers: (a) the genre of the story; (b) the main issues presented; (c) formative experiences; (d) meaningful figures in the story-teller’s life, and (e) personal and educational values manifested in the narratives. Student teachers’ narratives assisted them in clarifying relevant personal values, which they believed would be informative for their professional identity and motivate them to implement associated educational practices.

Keywords: Teacher Education, Life Stories, Narratives, Professional Values, Professional Identity

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 11, pp.261-276. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.491MB).

Dr. Yehudith Weinberger

Senior Lecturer and Head of the Program, Technology and Arts, Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and Arts, Tel Aviv, Israel

Dr. Yehudith Weinberger is a senior lecturer at Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and Arts, located in Tel Aviv. She is currently serving as the Dean of the Faculty of Education in the College and as a representative of the Education Ministry in the committees of the Council for Higher Education in Israel. Her fields of expertise are development of Higher Order Thinking in Science Education and teacher training programs.

Dr. Pnina Shefi

Lecturer and Pedagogical Supervisor, Technology and Arts, Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and Arts, Tel Aviv, Israel

Dr. Pnina Shefi is a Lecturer and Pedagogical Supervisor at Kibbutzim College of Education, Technology and Arts, Israel. Shefi teaches special education in the teacher training program for academics in the college and specializes in bibliotheraphy in teacher education. Shefi’s fields of interest include: life stories of teachers and students, community service learning, multi-cultural society, bibliotheraphy for professionals: teachers, social workers, medical doctors and therapists, Special Education, and youths at risk.

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