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Professional Self-Understanding in Practice: Narrating, Navigating and Negotiating

  • Geert Kelchtermans
Chapter

Abstract

Teaching as a practice, situated in a context of time and space, is where teachers’ self-understanding – their sense of self- emerges. Taking this practice-based stance, the author argues that teachers’ self-understanding is at the same time the result or outcome of experiences in practice as well as a condition for future professional practice. This conceptualization of professional self-understanding allows to incorporate a number of ambiguities that are inherent in and even constitutive for the teaching job: self-understanding as both process and product, as situated between agency and structure, and as caught between intentionality and vulnerability. Concluding the author identifies three categories of practices in which the self-understanding is developed, as well as influences teachers’ actions and professional choices: narrating, navigating, and negotiating.

Keywords

Professional self-understanding Vulnerability Agency versus structure Narrativity Micro-politics 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and Educational SciencesUniversity of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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