Volume 7   Number 1     Springs 2013

Student Teachers' Internally Persuasive Borderland Discourse and Teacher Identity

M. M. Van Rijswijk, S. F. Akkerman, & B. Koster Luken Loopbaan
Utrecht University, The Netherlands
pp. 43-60

ABSTRACT. Many scholars stress that learning to become a teacher also entails developing a coherent teacher identity. We think of teacher identity as a general understanding of oneself, resulting in a set of characteristics as a teacher and we introduce the notion of Internally Persuasive Borderland Discourse (IPBD) as a means to study the development of teacher identity during teacher education. In an IPBD a student teacher dialogically tests ideas and believes about himself as a teacher. Using a grounded theory approach to analyzing the IPBD’s of 10 student teachers participating in a post-graduate university teacher education program we found that the voice of significant others in the IPBD’s was used for authorization, as embodiment of the nature of teaching and as a marker of good teaching. We also found that the student teachers used 4 dialogical strategies in the IPBD’s, labelled by us as ‘personal discourse’, ‘intentional discourse’, ‘developmental discourse’ and ‘non-fit discourse’. Overlooking the 10 IPBD’s we distinguish 2 types of teacher identity narrations: 1) goal oriented narration and 2) explorative narration. Both types of narratives testify to the efforts student teachers put into developing a convincing image of themselves as teachers.

KEYWORDS: student teachers, teacher identity, borderland discourse, internally persuasive discourse, dialogical strategies, significant others