Understanding New Teachers’ Professional Identities through Metaphor

May. 15, 2011

This article was published in Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol 27 number 4,
Author(s): Lynn Thomas and Catherine Beauchamp, Understanding New Teachers’ Professional Identities through Metaphor", Pages 762–769, Copyright Elsevier (May 2011).

This study examines the metaphors new teachers use to describe their professional identities.
The study also compares metaphors chosen immediately following graduation with those suggested part way through their first year of teaching.

Findings indicate that new teachers' metaphors for professional identity show readiness for the role and a focus on pupils.
The metaphors suggest that new teachers struggle to develop a professional identity during their first year. The process for developing a professional identity is gradual, complex and often problematic.

Implications for teacher education indicate that greater emphasis needs to be placed on exploring professional identity in pre-service programmes.

Updated: Feb. 08, 2012