Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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What Makes Me, Me? Factors influencing pre-service teacher personal identity development during professional practice

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posted on 2023-06-02, 01:05 authored by Jilina, Polina

The concept of identity can be broken up into two constructs: personal and professional. Developing teacher professional identity is an important part of becoming a teacher. Research suggests pre-service teachers primarily develop their professional identity during professional practice. Personal and professional identities are interlinked, and conflict can arise when pre-service teachers take their personal identity on professional practice. In the past ten years, much research about pre-service teacher professional identity development had been completed, while personal identity was largely overlooked. This phenomenological study uses qualitative methods including ecomaps, semi-structured interviews, and field notes to investigate factors influencing primary school pre-service teacher personal identity development during professional practice. Reflexive thematic analysis revealed themes situated within Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems, including factors that enable, challenge, or enable and challenge identity development. Findings suggest pre-service teachers’ individual aspects and contextual factors, primarily whānau, can influence identity development, and imply the role of resilience. This study poses implications for pre-service teachers, initial teacher education providers, educators, professional practice schools, and researchers.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Education

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

160303 Teacher and instructor development

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

3 Applied research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Education


McCutcheon, Sandi