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Preservice teachers' voices: Images of teaching and the self

Irena Bozin-Mirkovic, University of Massachusetts Amherst


In the last decade there has been a surge of interest in preservice teachers' thinking. By and large, research studies have focused on the final student teaching period of preservice teacher education. However, little is known about future teachers' perspectives on teaching and the self prior to student teaching. This study--based on social constructivism and dialectical approach to teacher socialization--examined the biographies, notions of identity, epistemological perspectives, and current views about teaching of 15 entering preservice teachers at a large state university, using qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews. Interview questions focused on participants' interpretation of their educational experiences, their perspectives of themselves as learners, and their ideas about teaching. The results are presented in relation to the three themes: images of the self, images of teachers and teaching, and towards the image of self as a teacher. Participants' perspectives of themselves as knowers as well as their social group memberships significantly affected their notions of themselves as teachers, their perceptions of their future students, and their priorities in teaching. The results indicate the importance of opportunities to experience mastery in the domains preservice teachers would teach like math, science, or writing, and the need for inquiry into metaphors describing teachers and images of teaching during teacher education. The case is made for including epistemology in the content of teacher education curricula.

Subject Area

Teacher education|Developmental psychology|Occupational psychology

Recommended Citation

Bozin-Mirkovic, Irena, "Preservice teachers' voices: Images of teaching and the self" (1997). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9809311.