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Roman Šva?í?ek: Narrative and Social Construction of Expert Teacher Professional Identity

There are various theories describing a teacher’s development and progress.

Info about event


Friday 7 September 2012,  at 12:00 - 14:00


Department of Education, Aarhus University, Room A303, Tuborgvej 164, 2400 Copenhagen NV

They study, for example, changes in a teacher’s interpersonal styles throughout his/her career (Wubbels, Levy, 1993), the development of a teacher’s professional career (Foley, 2004), the constitution of various evolutionary phases in a teacher’s life (Steffy et al., 2000), and the development of skills and knowledge (Anderson, 2002). The lecture describes a qualitative research which studied six teachers from their professional beginnings to the present position of an experienced – expert – teacher. The research method used is life story, through which the teacher’s career is reconstructed. The key research question is: How did the teacher become an expert teacher? Specific questions: How does a teacher develop? How do an expert teacher’s opinions, methods and knowledge develop?

The most important motor of change and particularly of a teacher’s development was his/her decision and commitment to the development of his/her identity (Pittard, 2003). Snow and Anderson (1987) label this process as work on one’s identity (it includes activities towards creation, presentation and maintenance of one’s identity). I will talk about different strategies, which a teacher uses to influence the environment in his/her own classroom (student-to-teacher feedback, peer feedback, moral teaching, innovation, routine, intuition, and cooperating with pupils’ parents) and at school in general (informal relationships, verbal distancing, diplomacy, open wars, gossip, and shaman’s strategy).

Roman Šva?í?ek, Ph.D., Department of Educational Scienes, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Czech Republic, Brno. Executive editor of the Czech educational journal Studia paedagogica.