Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Teacher self-study: Stories of "success and survival"
by Weir, Regina, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2012, 278; 3629167
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative study investigates two teachers who attempt to guide self-improvement initiatives in their school setting during and after completing a University based practicum course in special education. Fullan's (1993) framework for change agency was used to help facilitate the participants' self-improvement process. Participants were called to consider and enact self-identified changes they would like to make as teachers and to consider how these changes interact with their teaching selves and schools at large. To better understand how the self-initiated projects were carried out in the school context, two cases were followed for eighteen months after the sixteen-week self-study practicum was completed.

A case study of each participant was constructed based on observations, interviews, and document analysis. Using a recursive process, data was explored to analyze each participant's sense of identity and how this process related to efforts to foster improvements in their school setting. The critical importance of the participant's life experiences (past and present) emerged as important to the self-study process and as important to their actions beyond the self-study process. The participants in these case studies were engaged in a balancing act between efforts to improve themselves as teachers and efforts to respond to the internal and external expectations they had in their personal lives as mothers and wives. Although this study was initially interested in how a teacher's identity process might lead toward greater critical consciousness about social justice issues in the classroom, these cases do not suggest a strong connection between the enacted self-study process and an emerging critical consciousness in teachers. However an examination of a teacher's life circumstances and prior experience is believed to provide insights that may inform future research on identity development, teacher development and change agency.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Butera, Gretchen D.
Commitee: Flinders, David, Kunzman, Robert, Schertz, Hannah
School: Indiana University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 75/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Education, Special education, Teacher education
Keywords: Change agency, School reform, Self-improvement, Teacher inquiry, Teacher self-study
Publication Number: 3629167
ISBN: 978-1-321-05886-4
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