The Teacher Self Construction of Language Teachers
Trejo-Guzman, Nelly Paulina
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The main purpose of this thesis is to deepen the current understanding of how the teacher self is constructed. Specifically, the study intends to integrate into this understanding the way in which language personal, professional, and student teacher identities inform this process. A special emphasis is placed on the role that language teachers’ life histories play on the construction of teacher selves. Narrative research constitutes the research design for this thesis project since I strongly believe that selves are narratively constructed through stories. This study is focused on the storied self (Chase, 2005) that is co-constructed between the researcher and narrator that reveals how personal, professional, and student teacher identities resist and interact with discursive environments in order to create and recreate a language teacher’s self. Life histories constitute the source of data collection in this study. This facilitated the construction of a broader understanding of how six language teachers’ personal, professional, and student teacher identities are shaped throughout a lifetime and the way these impact the formation of the teacher self. The results suggest that language teachers’ selves are in close relation to emotions. Language teachers negotiate their identities and emotions in order to make sense of the different sets of values that the social context presents to them. This in turn leads them to create/recreate their own teacher selves that serve as sources of agency that generates new sets of social/moral rules or stagnation that leads to the preservation of the current status quo. The thesis concludes by providing a series of suggestions tailored to the needs of the teaching context where this research took place with the purpose of fostering a continuous engagement with individual actors and socio-cultural factors that motivate transformation through reflection.
Universidad Autonoma de Tamaulipas
EdD in TESOL