A comparison of two groups of pre- and in-service teachers' discursive construction of their professional identities: Inclination toward change or constancy?

Document Type : research article


Assistant Professor, Amirkabir University of Technology Tehran, Iran


This study aimed at exploring how teachers discursively construct their professional identity inclinations during their everyday interactions and talks with others. For this purpose, the three dilemmatic lenses of professional identity construction proposed by Bamberg, De Fina and Schiffrin (2011) was used. These three controversial lenses include agency versus control, difference versus sameness and constancy versus change. In order to gather data, 5 experienced teachers and 5 teacher-students (all females) took part in semi-structured interviews and follow-up personal contacts with the researcher. All the content was transcribed for the purpose of content analysis. The iterative analysis of the content revealed that more experienced teachers believed that their identities as a teacher were controlled by the world and not by themselves (control vs. agency) while the majority of teacher-students believed that they could initiate new transformations in their classrooms. Moreover, both groups asserted that their identities were constructed as more similar to other colleagues or their own teachers (sameness) rather than different by following a fixed routine in their daily career (constancy) in contrast to changing their practices according to the particular needs of the context (change). Informed decision-making based on awareness can help agency and initiation against dominant discourses empowered by the context.


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doi: 10.22059/jflr.2017.209863.271