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The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 477–486 | Cite as

Pre-service Teachers’ Professional Identity Development Within the Context of School-Based Learning to Teach: An Exploratory Study in China

  • Qian Zhang
  • Anthony ClarkeEmail author
  • John Chi Kin Lee
Regular Article

Abstract

This exploratory study examines the evolving nature of Chinese pre-service teachers’ identity in relation to their experiences of school-based learning to teach during an 8-week internship. The results suggest that the identities of the four Chinese pre-service teachers in this study are anchored by two dimensions: their commitment to teaching and their perception of the teacher’s role. After the internship, the four pre-service teachers’ identities all shifted with respect to these two dimensions. The findings address an issue of potential conceptual confusion about the relationship between identity and learning to teach, which is neither linear nor unidirectional, but reciprocal. Further, the outcomes of this study suggest that there is a need to be more sensitive and responsive to identity shifts as students negotiate the transition from being a pre-service teacher to practicing professional. Lastly, this study conducted in a non-Western professional context, that is, a Chinese Teacher Education and Chinese School context, offers a valuable but missing perspective on teacher identity in the Western literature.

Keywords

Pre-service teacher Teaching practice Teacher identity China 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This paper is based on the Ph.D. study, supervised by Prof. N. Y. Wong of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, of the principal author.

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Copyright information

© De La Salle University 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationCapital Normal UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy, Faculty of EducationUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Department of Curriculum and InstructionThe Education University of Hong KongTai PoHong Kong

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