Pre-service primary school teachers’ teacher identity development in the context of science education

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Distance defence, Zoom link: https://oulu.zoom.us/j/64079180913

Topic of the dissertation

Pre-service primary school teachers’ teacher identity development in the context of science education

Doctoral candidate

Master of Arts Anne Pellikka

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Education, Teachers, Teaching and Educational Communities

Subject of study

Education

Opponent

Associate professor Ilkka Ratinen, University of Lapland

Custos

Professor Raimo Kaasila, University of Oulu

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Identifying different teacher identities at the beginning of teacher education is important

The doctoral dissertation explores the question of how pre-service primary school teachers develop their teacher identity in relations to teaching science, especially in teaching biology and geography. In this narrative study, 41 pre-service teachers were followed during their teacher education studies.

The data collection was a three-phase process involving examination of pre-service teachers’ school-time memories, their future views of themselves as teachers, as well as their beliefs, understandings and ways of planning science teaching.

The findings demonstrate that the positive memories of science teaching from school time and the ideals pre-service teachers develop based on them are especially meaningful for teacher identity development. Additionally, it was also observed that pre-service teachers’ beliefs, understandings and planning of science teaching can be very different and sometimes incompatible, and these differences have different meanings for teacher identity development.

Finally, to present a whole picture of their teacher identity development, the findings of the doctoral dissertation illustrate three possible paths of teacher identity development. The “static” path where one single memory of pre-service teachers determines their entire teacher identity development, the “progressive” path which involves pre-service teachers’ good understanding of the subject content knowledge, and the “transcending” path where pre-service teachers recognize the need for personal change.

Doctoral dissertation argues that identifying different teacher identities at the beginning of teacher education is important, and that teacher educators should consider them when they develop their teaching. The results are especially meaningful for science teacher education since they offer teacher educators a possibility to consider the diversity of both teacher identity development and the factors influencing on it.
Last updated: 28.10.2021