‘I Can Only Learn in Dialogue!’ Exploring Professional Identities in Teacher Education

Mar. 10, 2010

Source: Professional Development in Education, Vol. 36, Nos. 1–2, March 2010, pp. 149–168.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This article focuses on how professional identity of teacher educators can be portrayed in a systematic way both on a cognitive level and an emotional level. The article describes this identity and the challenges that teacher educators face in building up their identity, in keeping it fitted to educational changes and the many new roles their identity is composed of.


The authors used a narrative–biographical instrument. In order to construct a narrative–biographical method, eight teacher educators reflected on their professional development, using the self-confrontation method, resulting in self-narratives.


Eight teacher educators - five of them were female and three were male. The participants varied in age between 37 and 56. Furthermore, the participants worked in different postgraduate courses of the teacher training institute where this study was conducted.


The findings of the study indicate teacher educators’ meaningful experiences can be portrayed in a systematic way using identity components such as job motivation, task perception, task-feeling, self-image and self-feeling. This method can reveal a personal or professional theme to further educators’ development, focusing both on a content level as well as an emotional level.

These results were illustrated by one teacher educator’s story.
Finally, suitability of this method was discussed for reflection purposes in teacher education and research goals.

Updated: Mar. 21, 2010