Voices of identity and professional change : an interpretive study of elementary school teachers

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Allan, Sharon L.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Education
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education, 2008
Classrooms are rich environments characterized by change. Children grow physically, mature socially, and develop cognitively. Learning, at its most essential, is about growth and change. Teachers, in response to their students' development, work to provide meaningful learning experiences that will enhance and facilitate further growth. Amidst this constant change and intense emotion, teachers develop evolving understandings of who they are: the self that teaches (Palmer, 1998). Through conversational interviews, this interpretive inquiry explores the nature of the relationship between experiences of professional change and evolving teacher identity in the lives of seven elementary school teachers in an urban school jurisdiction in southeastern Alberta, Canada. While some educators found their experiences to be characterized by feelings of loss and grief, findings of this study indicate that professional relationships exert a powerful influence prompting, sustaining, and assuaging change. Recommendations emerging from this inquiry include recognition of the value of collegial conversations to offer new understandings of professional context and of the deeper self who interacts with children. In addition, this study suggests a reappraisal of the role of jurisdictions, schools and administrators; significant and tangible support for activities and practices that invite the consideration of professional change honours the lived experiences of educators, shapes evolving teacher identity, and ultimately, enhances learning for children.
ix, 114 leaves ; 29 cm.
Elementary school teachers -- Alberta, Southern -- Attitudes , Elementary school teachers -- Alberta, Southern -- Interviews , Elementary school teachers -- Alberta, Southern -- Job satisfaction