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Author(s): Janet Alsup
Janet Alsup's multilayered study of teacher identity development follows six preservice English education students and examines how forming (or failing to form) a professional identity is central in the process of becoming an effective teacher. Winner of the 2006 Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize from the Modern Language Association. NCTE-Routledge Research Series
Stock No.: 50349
Winner of the 2006 Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize from the Modern Language Association
“Educating others while being educated is where the student teacher must begin. It can take a good long while to understand that the work of learning to teach and then the work of trying to teach also encompass belonging to a profession that can and should question its own authority. . . . As Janet Alsup constructs this tale, there are emotional events stirring the work of learning to teach, adding more questions, rendering old strategies useless and, perhaps, conditioning the need for a new language. There are tensions in this world. . . . In this difficult context, Alsup offers a way to think about a language of teaching and learning, one she calls the world of borderland discourse. This must remain a strange geography charted anew by each participant. . . . Attention to how the teacher’s identity develops from something like teacher education, Alsup suggests, is itself an education.”
—Deborah P. Britzman, York University, from the Foreword
In this book Janet Alsup reports and theorizes a multi-layered study of teacher identity development. The study, which followed six preservice English education students, was designed to investigate her hypothesis that forming (or failing to form) a professional identity is central in the process of becoming an effective teacher.
This work addresses the intersection of various types of discourse within the process of professional identity development, emphasizes that the intersection of the personal and professional in teacher identity formation is more complex than is acknowledged in typical methods classes, and accents the need for teacher educators to take steps to facilitate such integration.
Specific suggestions for methods courses are presented that teacher educators can use as is or adapt to their own contexts. Teacher Identity Discourses: Negotiating Personal and Professional Spaces speaks eloquently to faculty, researchers, and graduate students across the field of teacher education.
NCTE-Routledge Research Series. 234 pp. 2005. College. ISBN 0-8058-5853-9. NCTE and Routledge.