2013_HAMILOGLU_EdD pdf.pdf (1.72 MB)

Turkish student teachers’ reflections on their professional identity construction and reconstruction process during the practicum

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posted on 2014-10-06, 10:26 authored by Kamile Hamiloglu
Drawing on sociocultural perspectives in language teacher education, this thesis explores the identity types English language teaching student teachers demonstrated during the transformation from imagined to practised identities (Wenger, 1998) as from primarily being a student to primarily being a teacher (Danielewicz, 2001): what they understood from this transformation; and how reflection on this transformation helped them construct and reconstruct their identities. The study was conducted with eight volunteer non-native student teachers in a state university in Istanbul, Turkey, in the 2011–2012 academic year. The study adopted a qualitative approach in the interpretivist paradigm as the method of research. Data were collected through the narratives of student teachers during face-to-face interviews, stimulated recall sessions, and their reflective journals. The analysis of identity construction drew on Wenger’s (1998) ‘Three Modes of Belonging: engagement, imagination and alignment’ and Fairclough’s (2003) model for analysing the discourse of both oral and written data. The theory of ‘Social Cognition Representation’ (Moscovici, 2000) was used for categorising the identity types of the participants. The narrative data generated five broad themes in terms of student teachers’ engagement, imagination and alignment: (1) Imagined professional identities, (2) Practised professional identities, (3) Personal factors affecting the transformation of identities from imagined to practised, (4) Professional factors affecting the transformation of identities from imagined to practised, (5) Future aspirations and possible future professional identities. The findings showed that student teachers had multiple-layered identities. The core one was their most dominating context-embedded identity (rule-based), the second most significant was based on their personal qualities, and other identities were always changing according to the conditions and facts, as cue-based, exemplar-based, or schema-based identities. Students became aware of their emerging identities as transformed from imagined to practised identities. It was seen that their imagination in engaging in various activities and relationships played an important role in their identity construction, which they developed understanding of through reflective practices. Understanding the development process helped student teachers construct their professional identities within the social structured practices, including mediation, discourse, social interaction and participation. The critical reflective nature of the practicum played an important role in raising their awareness of their identity construction and prompting proactive, conscious professional identity formation.



Gieve, Simon; Rogerson-Revell, Pamela

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Education

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • EdD



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