TEACHER IDENTITY CONSTRUCTION. A CASE STUDY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BARCELONA
The pre-service teacher education is the first step in a long process of continuous professional development which, while it does not provide complete and sufficient preparation for full and effective practice, should at least give teachers the foundations for beginning to build a certain “pedagogical way of seeing,” provide tools for understanding the practice of teaching, and lead future teachers into an activity which they have hitherto experienced only as receivers, but without reflecting on it and from it
In the field of teachers’ pre-service training, the relationship between theory (propositional knowledge taken from the disciplines making up the training program) and practice (situations which approach the reality of teaching in the various institutional fields) constitutes an endemic problem. This is shown by a number of studies whose results show that teachers’ real learning takes place in the practice of working with students (Sohlberg et. al., 2007), rather than as a result of their initial training. Comparable results are found in other studies which indicated that one of the most recurrent problems in describing teacher education programs in universities is precisely the lack of connection between the training derived from pre-service courses and experiences of real practice (for example, Avalos, 2009; Brouwer and Korthagen, 2006; Feiman-Nemser, 1990; Marcelo, 2009, Tiana, 2013, etc.)
It should be noted that most of the data relating to this issue comes from studies focused primarily on practical experience in the first years of employment. There are few studies which explore the identity professional construction during the whole period of initial teacher education, the primary objective of our study. Thus the research that we present here takes on more interest, as it strongly affirms the importance of pre-service training as a decisive stage in beginning to build professional identity.
The research methodology employed in the study is qualitative. The main strategies for gathering information are: narratives, in-depth interviews and focus group with students on the Primary Education Degree.