Stage 1: Identifying what kinds of impressions the interns made through their case descriptions.
Stage 2: Sorting the descriptions of the cases into Schüt z's four self-presentation styles, and to their sub-categories .
Stage 3: determining the frequency of each style and strategy, and examining the relationships between styles and strategies.
Interns used all Sch ü tz's four self-presentation styles , with the protective style being used less dominantly.
Interns usually used a combination of a few self-presentation styles.
Interns used the cases to present themselves as competent and serious teachers, as well as to encourage the group to support them.
Illustration: Shiraz’s case (pseudonym)
A competent and serious teacher
Offensive self-presentation: making the class look bad (in general)
Background details: a major subject, a final exam is coming up this year, not a very strong class.
Favorable conditions for learning: only 17 pupils in the class, a private school.
Explicit Statement: unawareness of the need to invest a lot in the major subject.
Strengthening the statement by giving examples: constant complains about homework, about the amount of material required to study, and about lack of time.
Offensive self-presentation: making the class look bad (the exam)
Complains about scheduling an exam.
Trying to avoid the exam by approaching the homeroom teacher.
The pupils actions while handing out the exam: only two pupils took the exam.
The pupils actions the day before: planning not to take the exam by phone calls and MSN.
Assertive self-presentation: building a favorable image of Shiraz
Mentioning that she has no serious discipline problems with the class.
Shiraz’s actions in response to the pupils' complaint: narrowing down the material to only two chapters; rescheduling the exam.
Shiraz’s response to the homeroom request: no apologies and giving in, standing up for herself and explaining the situation.
Consultation with the subject-matter coordinator.
Shiraz’s actions while realizing most of the pupils didn’t take the exam: investigation of the case and coming back with results.
Defensive self-presentation: everyone is backing me up
The subject-matter coordinator perceives the same problem concerning this class.
The homeroom teacher left the decision whether to postpone the exam or not to her and also informed the pupils of it.
The subject-matter coordinator's response for the situation: asking Shiraz not to postpone the exam.
Shiraz succeeds in establishing the impression that she is competent and serious by using offensive, assertive and defensive self-presentations.
Interns made an impression of competence through their self-presentations.
This impression is well associated with a novice state, which is characterized by a tendency to be concerned about how other people see them as teachers.
The study exhibits the potential of using self-presentation styles and strategies for beginning teachers’ research:
A possible explanation for the almost 50% attrition rate of beginning teachers from the profession throughout the first five years of teaching.
The study also exhibits the potential of using self-presentation styles and strategies for improving beginning teachers’ practice:
I ntroducing self-presentation styles and strategies to teachers as an interpretive lens for analyzing their own practice ---> teachers can learn to manage the impressions they make, and perform accordingly.
Goffman, E. (1959). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. Doubleday Anchor Books, New York.
Schütz, A. (1998). Assertive, Offensive, Protective, and Defensive Styles of Self-Presentation: A Taxonomy. The Journal of Psychology , Vol. 132, No. 6, pp. 611-628.