Mathematics teacher identity development of early career middle grade mathematics teachers and the role of participated communities

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2018
Arslan, Okan
This study aimed to explore early career mathematics teachers’ mathematics teacher identity development phenomena. Two rounds of interviews were conducted with 11 early career middle school mathematics teachers in order to explore their perceived mathematics teacher identities and the influential factors on the development of their mathematics teacher identities. Furthermore, the coherence between early career middle school mathematics teachers’ perceived and actualized mathematics teacher identities, and the effects of working communities in different characteristics on early career mathematics teachers’ mathematics teacher identities were investigated. Accordingly, 2 teachers were observed for 10 weeks in their working communities and 3rd round of interview was conducted. Two types of perceived mathematics teacher identities were explored: Traditional-Practice Mathematics Teacher Identity and Hybrid-Practice Mathematics Teacher Identity. There were 6 influential factors on the development of perceived mathematics teacher identities: Personal Characteristics, Others’ Teacher Identities, Teacher Education Community, Working Community, Discipline, and Educational Policy. There was a consistency to a considerable extent among the perceived and actualized mathematics teacher identities of two observed teachers. The analysis also revealed the complicated effects of working communities on the observed teachers. The observed teachers were affected negatively from some unsupportive working conditions and positively from some supportive working conditions. Furthermore, one of the teachers resisted to some negative conditions in her working community whereas the other teacher could not benefit from some positive conditions in his working community. It was concluded that the effects of the working communities are mediated through the teachers’ existing mathematics teacher identities.