Preschool Teacher Identity

Sanja Tatalović Vorkapić (University of Rijeka, Croatia), Lidija Vujičić (University of Rijeka, Croatia), and Renata Čepić (University of Rijeka, Croatia)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 60
EISBN13: 9781466664197|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5990-2.ch002
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The teaching process cannot be simplified to definitions of the best teachers as those possessing certain desirable teaching behaviours and skills (Katz, 2002). Although there are numerous factors that significantly influence learning and teaching, one might agree that specific teaching roles dominantly determine the quality of preschool teaching processes and learning outcomes. Furthermore, two equally important dimensions that characterize teaching roles, as linked with concepts of identity, are professional and personal dimensions. Therefore, one might be wondering: Who are contemporary preschool teachers? How do they define their self and identity? What determines identity that preschool teachers describe as theirs? Consequently, how do these identities influence the quality of process of early and preschool care and education? Answering these questions is no easy task since the concept of identity is defined in various ways in the more general literature (Beijaard, Meijer, & Verloop, 2004). This chapter is focused on an analysis of preschool teacher identity from three specific aspects. First, since all identity models emphasize the cultural context within which preschool teachers' identity develops and its crucial role, contemporary changes in preschool teacher roles and a new study program called Early and Preschool Teacher Education and Care are analysed in the Croatian context. Secondly, in order to follow contemporary literature, theoretical models of identity are presented. Afterwards, based on such models, the personality traits and temperament of research participants are analysed within the context of preschool teacher identity. Finally, the chapter's third section analyses preschool teachers' values, motives, and narratives.
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