Metaphors as two-way mirrors: Illuminating pre-service to in-service teacher identity development

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 2015, 40 (10), pp. 33 - 50
Issue Date:
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The transition from pre-service to in-service can be difficult for teachers. One means of looking into the minds and hearts of such teachers is to elicit the metaphors they adopt for themselves. Previous studies have indicated that during this transition much of the confidence, idealism and optimism of teacher metaphors is displaced by bleak and defeatist visions. These changes are usually explained by 'praxis shock' - a result of unrealistic prior views of teaching and equally unrealistic workloads and challenges. This research project asks if metaphors might reveal more about pre-service teachers' views and vulnerabilities, and help avert or mitigate problems encountered in the early years. Metaphors provided by one cohort of pre-service teachers were distinguished according to 'locus of pedagogy' (student-centred or teacher-centred) and 'degree of agency/efficacy' in an attempt to gauge perceptions of control in the profession. The results have implications for incoming teachers, teacher educators and the profession.
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