The formation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics teacher identities : pre-service teacher’s perceptions

Irving-Bell, Dawne and Ashwin, Paul (2018) The formation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics teacher identities : pre-service teacher’s perceptions. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Set within the context of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), this study explores the personal teaching philosophies of students (pre-service teachers) training to become qualified teachers, with the purpose of better understanding how participant’s perceptions of teaching are shaped by their previous experiences. It goes on to consider how these experience-related beliefs influence the formation of their individual identities as teachers. Outcomes emerging from the study show that the meaning pre-service teachers assign to their lived experiences play a significant role in their development. Nascent themes discussed include; subject knowledge, disciplinary differences and engendered approaches to STEM pedagogy. Presented as theoretical insights, this study highlights three key findings which are discussed within the context of policy and practice. The first describes the impact ‘weak’ subject knowledge has on an individual’s development, and findings show that where an individual believes their knowledge to be limited, development is restricted. The second presents a taxonomy of ‘self-sabotaging’ behaviours which arise from an individual’s inability to challenge their perceptions of ‘what a teacher should be’. Perceptions that have the potential to impact negatively on their identity formation. The third presents the concept of ‘identity drift’ and describes the incidence where an individual’s ideological values and beliefs and the reality of their classroom practice become unaligned. With the potential impact over time being that an individual is unable to reconcile their internalised identity from their external one, with teacher attrition being the likely consequence. Exploring the interrelations between outcomes, findings indicate there would be tangible benefits in facilitating strategies designed to support pre-service teachers to become more aware of the meaning they have assigned to their experience relatedbeliefs to support the development of their professional identities as teachers of STEM.

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Thesis (PhD)
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21 Sep 2018 09:08
Last Modified:
11 Dec 2023 00:52