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Boundary work in coping with distressful teacher education situations
Linköping University.
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Student teachers report a variety of situations as distressful during teacher education. The situations relate to day-to-day stress of teacher work and emphasize the potentially exhaustive experience of being a practicing teacher in the future. The aim of the study was to investigate student teachers’ experiences of coping in distressful teacher education situations in relation to teacher identity development. Symbolic interactionism was adopted as a theoretical framework since it focuses on the participants’ the empirical world and perspectives as vital in understanding social processes. We used a constructivist grounded theory (GT) design because GT has been developed to examine and conceptualize interaction, meaning and social processes. GT tools were used as flexible guidelines in a non-linear fashion and with a constructivist epistemology. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 student teachers studying their last year of teacher education (7 males and 18 females, 22–56 years old, M = 28). The student teachers studied to be eligible to teach grades 4-6 or 7-9 in Swedish compulsory school at six universities in Sweden. Establishing the boundaries of future work was the participants’ main concern. According to our findings, student teachers’ emerging identity development focused on the boundaries of their coming profession. In doing so, student teachers thought that using the boundaries would alleviate the distress of potentially exhaustive day-to-day teacher work. Student teachers discussed an uncertainty as to what the boundaries of working as teacher included, and several core processes influenced the teacher identity development when establishing these boundaries in relation to what responsibilities they discussed a teacher should have. These processes included (a) protective demarcations and (b) enacted classroom management. The protective demarcations focused on how student teachers established boundaries between work and private life. This included having strategies about not brooding, taking problems home, or “adopting a child”. Enacted classroom management involved being a teacher that would be able to have order in the classroom, and the fears of not being able to. Student teachers needed to establish their own classroom management skills to explore and develop their own boundaries in classroom management. In experiencing classroom management as student teachers, they often reported that there was a tension in feeling obligated to adjust to the supporting teacher. These processes influenced the emerging teacher identity. The processes connected to the boundary work between the positions of being a student teacher and a soon to be practicing teacher, and influenced emerging teacher identity.. Establishing boundaries was seen as coping with knowing how to handle distressful situations and with fear of a potentially exhaustive future practice. The reported research is relevant to Nordic Educational Research since it addresses student teachers’ identity development and coping with distressful situations in teacher education. We hope this might be of use in the discussion about student teachers’ attrition and novice teachers choosing to quit the occupation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-145642OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-145642DiVA, id: diva2:1189460
Conference
46th Congress of the Nordic Educational Research Association (NERA
Available from: 2018-03-10 Created: 2018-03-10 Last updated: 2018-03-10

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Lindqvist, Henrik
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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf