Volume 7   Number 1     Springs 2013

Unlocking the Potential of Conflicts: A Pilot Study of Professional Identity Development Facilitation During Initial Teacher Education

Äli Leijen (1,2) & Katrin Kullasepp (3)
(1) Institute of Education & (2) Viljandi Culture Academy
      University of Tartu, Estonia

(3) Institute of Psychology, Tallinn University, Estonia
pp. 67-86

ABSTRACT. This research on student teachers’ professional identity formulation contributes to the emerging development of utilizing dialogical approaches in teacher identity research. Following the conceptual framework and practical implications of Alsup (2006) and Hermans & Hermans-Konopka (2010), we developed support for professional identity development. The main aim of the support was to facilitate the negotiation and solving of tensions between student teachers’ professional and personal I-positions. Data regarding the professional identity development support was collected by means of written assignments from 11 students from two teacher training curricula during school practicum seminars in one university in Estonia. A qualitative content analysis method was utilized by two researchers for analyzing written assignments (21). The results revealed that the developed support was functional for communicating tensions between conflicting positions and partly functional for solving tensions between positions. Implications for practice and further research are presented.


KEYWORDS: professional identity, identity development facilitation, initial teacher education