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Journal of Education (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

On-line version ISSN 2520-9868
Print version ISSN 0259-479X


VAN DER WESTHUIZEN, Mické  and  WOEST, Yolandi. "Do all roads lead to Rome?": The influence of two different higher education programmes on beginner teacher identity. Journal of Education [online]. 2021, n.82, pp.78-99. ISSN 2520-9868.

In this qualitative case study, we explored the experiences of beginner teachers who chose two different routes-full-time and part-time studying-on the journey to becoming teachers and we report on the influences of this choice on their emergent beginner teacher identities. We purposefully selected two groups of participants, each consisting of three who studied full-time and three who studied part-time. The latter worked part-time at schools or in similar educational contexts while they were studying. Epistemologically underpinned by the interpretivist paradigm, we employed the Possible Selves theory (Marcus & Nurius, 1986) as the theoretical lens. Inductive thematic analysis of data demonstrated three main themes. First, data showed a distinct divergence between the perceptions of initial beginner teacher identity states in the two groups of participants. Second, both groups of participants agreed that time is a significant factor in the complex psychological processes required for the construction of a beginner teacher identity. Third, both groups strongly considered practical experience as an essential factor for beginner teacher identity development.

Keywords : beginner teacher identity; full-time student; part-time student; Possible Selves theory; teacher education programmes.

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