Ecologize teacher identity


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This is a summary story of my PhD track as I presented it in Athens on a conference on Dialogical self Theory.

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Ecologize teacher identity

  1. 1. Teacher identity research question: How do teachers construct their identity in order to be happy in their job? What can junior teachers learn from them? Rudy Vandamme (BE) [email_address]
  2. 2. Our vision on education development Education development is not a linear process to replace teacher-centered education by student-centered education, but to value all possiblities of the learning context, e.g. to construct education as a context of relationships and a platform for development. NOT student-centered NOT teacher-centered NOT knowledge-centered BUT relationship centered and development centered
  3. 3. The Dialogical Self theory, Hubert Hermans I as teacher I as student Self as monolithic
  4. 4. The Dialogical Self theory, Hubert Hermans My knowledge My partner My students Students I as transferring knowledge I as in search for recognition I as coach Dialogue Extended Self Books School Dialogical Self Dialogical Self
  5. 5. The Dialogical Self theory, Hubert Hermans My knowledge My students My teacher I as exploring worlds I as ambitious I as student I as transferring knowledge I as in search for recognition I as teacher I as creative I as detached from education The interaction between the dialogical self of the teachers and the dialogical self of students
  6. 6. Research method: understanding teachers with the PPR and interview <ul><li>PPR = Personal Position Repertoire (Hermans), online instrument </li></ul><ul><li>Dialogue/interview </li></ul><ul><li>Professional (non-academic) higher education </li></ul><ul><li>4 different schools (nurse, social work, HRM, communication) </li></ul><ul><li>14 teachers: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>3 men, 11 women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>4 young (< 5 years), 10 senior (> 10years) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Procedure : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In every school one contact person who motivates the colleagues to collaborate. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An opening email with a word doc attached, to frame the research and to prepare for the online PPR. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online PPR </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interview with each teacher (1,5 hour) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dialogue amongst us (Erica & Rudy) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. PPR: choosen repertoire INTERNAL I-POSTIONS I as expert I as facilitator I as responsable I as passionated I as structuring I as teacher I as student I as artist I as narrator I as knowledge transfer I as colleague I as role model I as evaluator I as researcher I as developer of knowledge I as I am I as I should be EXTERNAL I-POSITIONS My partner My father My mother My children My students from class 1 My students from class 2 My students from class 3 My sister/brother My colleagues God My best friend Somebody who needs help The world A teacher who is an example for me De schoolleader + 5 EXTRA + 5 EXTRA
  8. 8. Online PPR
  9. 9. Raw data of the PPR I as... My...students Internal positions External positions
  10. 10. Hierarchy of positions
  11. 11. Correlations
  12. 12. Some quantitative conclusions: hierarchy 10/12 teachers has strongest activation for I as I am 10/12 teachers indicatie lowest activation I as I have to be in school Low internal: I as student, I as researcher, I as ego High external: students (3 classes) Low internal: world, God Conclusions: 1.Typical for a teacher is to have a strong sense of being present ‘this is me’. They pace themselves in contrast with the school demands. 2.Teachers are very sensitive to connection with students! ‘ their students’. 3.Doing co-creative research with students in placements, and contributing to the content professional community (writing a paper) is rare. 4.Teachers see themselves as translaters of knowledge from academic to professional context and helping their students to find their way through the learning career.
  13. 13. Some quantitative conclusions: correlations The half of the sample (6teachers) shows a positive correlation between I as teacher and I as expert, knowledge transmission, rolemodel, evaluator BUT also I as developer of knowledge and not with being a researcher. High correlations between the three classes > Teachers tend to do the same approach in different classes. Only in one case there was a positive correlation between I as teacher and I as artist.
  14. 14. Discussion quantitative research <ul><li>1.I positions are highly subjectively interpreted by teachers doing the PPR. Correlations are very unique for each teacher. It is not possible to generalise on a small sample. Each unique correlation profile has to be interpreted in dialogue with the teacher to become meaningful. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I as student - ‘no, I am not’ >> I as learning - ‘yes, always’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I as teacher - ‘yes, although I am a trainer, I still have a responsability’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I as Developer of knowledge - ‘yes I rewrite my syllabus every year’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I as researcher - ‘no, I am not working at university level’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I as artist - ‘no, I am not painting or sculpting’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I as coach - ‘yes and no’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2.The choice of I positions determines the outcome. </li></ul><ul><li>3.They have to learn to think ‘PPR’; it requires introspection. </li></ul><ul><li>4.Is it behaviour or narrative? </li></ul><ul><li>5.Is it created at the moment itself or is it a description? </li></ul><ul><li>6.Some connections are stupid, e.g. I as coach - a beloved person who is dead. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Further research vistas 1.Finding a way defining I positions in a less intepretative way. 2.Reducing external positions, related to the goal under study. 3.Enlarge it to a general mapping of personality. 4.Taking a representative sample so that an individual or smaller sample can be compared with statistical obtained averages. 5.Using the instrument as a starting point or an in between point in a dialogical inquiry. 6.Using the instrument as an educational tool for teachers. SOCIAL ROLES I as teacher in a school I as father of children I as researcher at university PSYCHOSOCIAL POSITIONS I as your teacher I as a fatherlike person I as a researcher in life VALUATIONS Teaching Parenting inquirying Childisch
  16. 16. Interview questions Interpreting data: What do you mean by... How are you doing education in classroom? From your biography, what is the psychosocial equivalent of being a teacher? How are you supporting the personal development (18years old) of the students? What challenges do you encounter in your own positioning? How do you develop knowledge through the interaction with students? Dialogues
  17. 17. From valuation (SCM) to I-position Transcript interview Valuations Personal Position Repertoire I as
  18. 18. Patterns in identity construction 1.Connect preferred I-position to the job. Ex. A teacher’s preferred I position is to have newness in the situation. 2.Add a pedagogical identity position to your repertoire. Ex. King, queen, mother, father, wise. 3.Integrate your wierd personality features into your teaching style. Ex. Being from a lower social class and being rebellious. >> Lessons for juniors !
  19. 19. I standing in front prima donna Students My choir School I trying new things I, conductor ? I as teacher I, creative organizer I I, in contact Conflicting preferred I-positions
  20. 20. My PhD I am a researcher I like playing I am a creator My students Academic community Professional community I, researching I I, King I, feminine I, child + I am a teacher Academic researcher Knowledge creation as part of higher professional education Neighboring pattern Knowledge products
  21. 21. Some qualitative conclusions: composition teacher PV I as teacher - structure, strict ‘they are sponges’ X I as mother - caring, loving ‘I see it all’ X I as passionate - I want them to think for themselves X I as story teller X I as physican - students asking medical questions about themselves X I as coach - listening to individual questions X I as being aware of my pedagogical role - I as role model (‘see, this behavior is possible’) Nurse school, Teacher Physiology, anatomy My students are my sponges I admit I am not developing knowledge; The content doesn’t fit with the idea of co-creation
  22. 22. Some qualitative conclusions: composition teacher MdR I as king - man, structure, giving direction X I as going for connection - woman, recognition, X I as Child - creative, playing, visualising ideas X I as producing creative result - integration of intership based data Management, Teacher Human resources I use my student to feed my own creative challenges. Knowledge creation is the core of higher education; integrating internship of students
  23. 23. Some qualitative conclusions: composition teacher CR I as structuring - prestructured shedule X I as facilitator - giving materials X I as confronting them - ‘I go into it’, ‘hé what is happening here’, ‘be authentic’ X I as giving space - sitting back I know now better how to arrange education in order to arrive at the learning outcomes Trainer communcation for teachers course Knowledge creation is applied knowledge
  24. 24. Some conclusion 1.In general ‘structure’ and ‘connection’ will be present in any teacher’s profile. These positions are mixed in a way that brings together contradictory values of each (educational and humanistic). 2.Senior teachers can be succesful in different ways. Co-creation and knowledge development are not necessary to be a succesful teacher. 3.To be able to co-create knowledge development a teacher needs besides the general educational I positions (structure & connection ) a specific I position of creative knowledge development.
  25. 25. Discussion qualitative research 1. Doing only one interview gives as endresult an assesment. It is not enough to obtain data and categorize them. The researcher is out of dialogue. 2. Positions are sometimes explicit, sometimes not at all. It is artificial to speak about ‘I as ...’ if the person has just a feeling of doing something. - ‘Well if you insist, you can call it a position’. 3. I took the perspective of understanding teachers in how to manage the multiplicity of their job. It was difficult to keep in mind the reference of my research question. Is it possible to combine an understanding modus with a testing modus?
  26. 26. Further research vistas 1.Feedback the results to the teachers and discuss with them a mapping of there personality profile as teacher. 2.Doing a SCM with the material. 3.Looking for behavioral based patterning of I positions. 4.Starting with a general mapping of the dialogical self with a interview based agreement on the repertoire. 5.Using a developmental perspective to obtain a better inside in internal conflicts. 6.How can we study the open space (in between position) idea in the dialogical self? 7.Using constellation work to understand the relational field between teacher-students-knowledge. 8.How can we study deeper meanings of the presence of the ‘I as student modus’, discussed in literature as the necessary condition to connect with students?
  27. 27. Reactions, recommendations? Email: website:
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