Workshop 3. Development of professional identity

Prof.dr. P.C. Meijer – RU Nijmegen
Dr. M. Pillen – Katholieke Pabo Zwolle

The concept of professional identity has gained popularity in the last few years. Knowing who you are as a professional and being able to express your ideals is becoming more important in our current changing times. Within the literature, there is a growing attention for teachers’ professional identity development. However, it is only in recent years that more curricula of (academic) teacher education institutes attend to the development of professional identity of their students.  

Student teachers who are aware of their professional identity can answer the questions of who they are and who they want to be as a teacher. Based upon their ideals, beliefs and experiences, and also based upon literature, they are able to underpin their actions which in turn supports their confidence and helps them to be more resilient as teachers.

Professional identity development concerns the interaction between personal and professional factors which are being continuously influenced by the context. However, when personal and professional factors conflict with each other, tensions in professional identity arise. Often the identity issues are associated with negative emotions, but they can also be experienced as learning opportunities that influence the identity development.

In this workshop you will construct your personal storyline and in doing so you become more aware of your professional identity. You will learn more about your professional identity through various activities including discussing critical incidents that have occurred within your career, gaining insight from the literature, as well as discussing career development with other professionals.