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    The identity dilemmas of Early Career Teachers from under-represented groups in the UK

    Woodfine, Corinne ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4340-9135 and Warner, Diane (2023) The identity dilemmas of Early Career Teachers from under-represented groups in the UK. Teaching Education, 34 (3). pp. 335-350. ISSN 1047-6210

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    Abstract

    Uncontested narratives of normality in primary teacher training are located and demonstrated in heteronormativity, whiteness, able-bodiedness and femininity. Early-Career Teachers who know and feel they lie outside of these are positioned uneasily as they try to locate spaces to express their identities and enable self-agency. This article explores how beginning teachers from under-represented groups come to understand themselves and others during the process of becoming a primary teacher. Through qualitative analysis of video stories of 12 novice primary teachers, we identified salient themes including dilemmas around identity invisibility/hypervisibility and lack of agency to (re)construct their identities. Our findings have implications for teacher educators and school leaders to provide new teachers opportunities to explore their identity dilemmas alongside their peers in safe spaces. Developing provision that builds beginning teachers’ peer networks alongside their understanding of self may not only offer an outlet for self-agency but impact on teacher retention from those located in under-represented groups.

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