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The Complex Development of Preservice and Inservice Teacher Identities

Thomas P. Crumpler and Lara J. Handsfield

Previous scholars have investigated aspects of the complexity of teacher identity and demonstrated the need to look beyond skills and generalized "best practices" to consider social processes and power relationships. However, few books focus on teacher identities at both the micro and macro levels. In this timely book, the authors argue that teacher identity awareness is crucial for both preservice and in-service teachers who desire deeper knowledge about the role of identities in effective instruction. The Complex Development of Preservice and Inservice Teacher Identities breaks new theoretical ground in understanding teacher identities by bringing a process drama lens to bear on development at the macro and micro levels. Process drama uses dramatic structures such as teacher in role, students in role, tableau and others to activate imaginations and explore interpretive possibilities. Through this lens Crumpler and Handsfield show how teacher identities are performed, reproduced, and how they may shift at the micro level—in everyday discourse and classroom practices—across a span of two years. Two years of data are analyzed using micro-ethnographic discourse analysis to demonstrate how teachers tactically position themselves to navigate current political discourses of accountability and standardization in both pre-service and in-service contexts. Understanding how identities are constructed, evolve, and shift moment-by-moment is essential for programs striving to prepare successful teachers and for schools providing meaningful professional development for in-service teachers.