University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Kazakhstan Programme Research Seminar Series > Exploratory Study of Teacher Identity in Changing Times: In search of frameworks and definitions

Exploratory Study of Teacher Identity in Changing Times: In search of frameworks and definitions

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This presentation has two purposes: to attempt to chart the teacher identity of school teachers within Kazakhstan; and, to inform upon methods of educational research appropriate to a Kazakhstani. The research described here, firstly, examined how Kazakhstani teachers construct themselves. Secondly, it inquired as to how teachers have adapted or are adapting to change against a backdrop of sweeping educational reform. To position this, a theoretical framework was required; so Korthagen’s (2004) conceptual framework for teacher identity, where mission dictates identity, was contrasted with the model proposed by Beijaard Meijer and Verloop (2003). Beijaard Meijer and Verloop (2003) offer four interacting features for consideration: teacher identity is an ongoing process; it involves interplay between person and context; it may consist of sub-identities; and, teachers are agents in creating their own understanding of the role. Part of the purpose of the research (and this seminar) is to discuss the fit of Western models of teacher identity in a fast-changing, post-soviet context. Data were drawn from a large mixed methods research project comprising interviews and survey in three regions in Kazakhstan. The survey instrument was based upon two existing scales: beliefs regarding assessment (James & Pedder, 2006) and items to examine more general teachers’ beliefs (OECD, 2008). Factor analysis of the initial data produced three areas upon which items loaded to represent: interaction with students to check learning; authority over these students to create a particular learning environment and the development of students’ thinking. These features are set against the qualitative data that affords depth and narrative to changes in the profession and professional landscape.

This talk is part of the Kazakhstan Programme Research Seminar Series series.

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