Novice teachers' work: constructing 'different' children?
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Developing a teacher identity is an ongoing and multifaceted process. In part, the process involves finding a voice amid the clamour of other, often contradictory, voices and complex conditions in which teachers find themselves. Drawing from a larger study of teacher professional identities, this paper explores how two beginning early childhood educators talk about what it means to teach. The paper focuses on how these novice teachers position themselves, and are positioned, by their understandings of the ‘child’. This focus on children is particularly relevant to understanding teacher identities for in educational contexts, teachers and children are inextricably linked – they are part of a relational pair. Using critical discourse analysis as a way of examining interview data, I discuss how a discourse of the ‘normal’ child constructs particular identity positions for children and the adults who work with them.