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The transition from student to teacher: investigating the changing identities of trainee teachers

Connolly, Phoebe (2016) The transition from student to teacher: investigating the changing identities of trainee teachers. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Professional identity is the idea of combining one’s attributes, beliefs, values, motives and experiences to create a personal identity in terms of a profession (Ibarra, 1999). This idea has been applied to specific professions such as teaching to create the area of teachers’ professional identity. While there is a lot of current research surrounding this area, it is extremely limited in terms of focusing on trainee teachers’ professional identity, thus the purpose of this research is to study the transition of identity from student to teacher, as individuals train to become a primary school teacher through a Post Graduate Certificate of Education (PGCE) course. Six PGCE students participated in semi-structured interviews aimed to delve into the students’ experiences of their course and being on school placements, to investigate what aspects of their teacher training have an effect on the changing of their identity. The data from these interviews were then analysed thematically. The main themes found from the data were: expectations versus reality, relationships and the reasons for wanting to teach.

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