Educational Studies in Mathematics

, Volume 98, Issue 3, pp 253–267 | Cite as

An elementary teacher’s narrative identity work at two points in time two decades apart

  • Sonja Lutovac
  • Raimo Kaasila


The number of studies on how the process of identity work takes place in pre- and in-service teacher training contexts has recently increased. This narrative study contributes to this body of work by examining one elementary teacher’s identity work in the context of teaching mathematics at two points in time—the present, as an experienced teacher, and two decades prior, as a pre-service teacher. As part of our narrative approach, this study introduces a biography-stimulated recall method and exemplifies its use. The findings account for continuity and change in a teacher’s identity over time and broaden understanding of influences on identity in pre- and in-service teaching stages. The central role of crisis in teachers’ identity development, particularly when initiated within teacher education contexts, is highlighted. Methodological considerations in narrative follow-up studies are discussed.


Identity work Teacher identity Narrativity Temporality Mathematics Teacher education Biography-stimulated recall 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Sciences and Teacher EducationUniversity of OuluOuluFinland

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