Clyde Felix PhD Candidate
Provisional Title of Research Project:
Narratives that shape the professional identities of mathematics teachers
Provisional Project Outline:
In this project the central position is that the professional identities of mathematics teachers are continuously being shaped by their personal narratives; and consequently, that finding out more about these narratives is an essential part of understanding how a positive teacher professional identity might be cultivated. The special significance of teacher professional identity here, and in other research initiatives, is in its potential to shape the classroom practices of mathematics teachers (Cohen, 2008; Watson, 2006).
With its theoretical framework firmly rooted in Socioculturalism, this project draws mainly on the notions of identity (Sfard & Prusak, 2005; Lave & Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998), communities of practice (Wenger, 1998), and legitimate peripheral participation (Lave & Wenger, 1991) to contextualize the notion of teacher professional identity.
Narrative inquiry (Connelly & Clandinin, 1990; Clandinin & Connelly, 2000) offers a productive way of studying peoples’ experiences through the stories that they tell; therefore narrative oriented inquiry (Hiles & ?ermák, 2007; 2008) will be used to collect and analyse the teachers’ narratives; supplemented by Lieblich, Tuval-Mashiach and Zilber’s (1998) four dimensional model for the classification and organization of different types of narrative analysis.
It is anticipated that the outcomes of this research will contribute towards: the debate around imperatives to transform the post-Apartheid South African schooling system, which currently expect radical transformations of teachers’ professional identities without offering sufficient support (Parker, 2006); independent teacher professional development initiatives (e.g., MTEP ), where research into teacher professional identities is still in its infancy; and, pre- and in-service teacher training programmes.
Supervisor: Prof Marc Schafer firstname.lastname@example.org