Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Toward conceptual development of a theory of clinical instructor identity using the experiences of medical laboratory science practitioners
by Miller, Wendy L., Ed.D., Northern Illinois University, 2011, 215; 3494397
Abstract (Summary)

This study investigated medical laboratory science clinical instructors' beliefs about teaching and how they viewed themselves as teachers. The first phase of the study included an integrative literature review, which suggests that the development of teacher identity in school-based educators, and to a lesser extent higher education faculty, is dependent on four dimensions: personal factors, training factors, contextual factors, and reflective practice. Using a theory-building research technique, conceptual development of a theory of teacher identity was initiated based on these findings and the proposed theory is depicted in a concept map.

The second phase of this study began qualitative inquiry into the ways that these participants describe their professional identity and talk about their teaching. Interviews were conducted with medical laboratory science clinical instructors in order to gain an understanding of their perceptions of themselves as teachers. The data collected in this study indicate that this group of clinical instructors saw themselves as educators in a variety of ways. They saw themselves as teachers who were responsible for providing students with the technical skills needed to become competent medical laboratory science practitioners and the theoretical foundation necessary to pass the national certification exam. The study participants also saw themselves as mentors who were responsible for passing along professional knowledge to the next generation of laboratory practitioners.

During data analysis three themes emerged that represent aspects of teacher identity in clinical instructors (clinical instructor identity): belief in one's teaching ability (Nature vs. Nurture: We Have the Ability to Teach), desire to expand one's professional responsibilities ( Professional Identity: Doing Something Extra), and reflection on one's teaching (Thinking about Teaching Made Me a Better Teacher). These themes and their supporting elements are generally consistent with the dimensions of teacher identity identified in the literature review and the seminal identity theories of Erikson (1956), Marcia (1966), and Gee (2001). The findings from this study may provide a foundation for future research designed to measure teacher identity in clinical instructors. Implications for practice are also included.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jeris, Laurel
Commitee: Hall, Kathy, Rose, Amy
School: Northern Illinois University
Department: Counseling, Adult and Higher Education
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 73/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Adult education, Health education
Keywords: Clinical instructors, Conceptual development, Laboratory science, Medical practitioners, Teacher identity
Publication Number: 3494397
ISBN: 978-1-267-16026-3
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