Teacher Subject Identity in Professional Practice focuses on a key, but neglected, element of a teacher's identity: that of their subject expertise. Studies of teachers' professional practice have shown the importance of a teacher's identity and the extent to which it can affect their resilience, commitment and ultimately their effectiveness.
Drawing upon narrative research undertaken with a range of teachers over a period of 14 years, the book explores how subject expertise can play a significant role in teacher identity, acting as a professional compass guiding teachers at all levels of their professional practice. It reveals powerful individual stories of meaning-making which highlight the dynamic importance of teachers' subject expertise
The book's metaphor of a professional compass goes to the heart of teacher professionalism, and provides a valuable mechanism to enable teachers to respond to challenges they face in their daily practice. It enables teachers to consider the moral dimensions of their practice, and can constitute a significant component in professional formation and identity. Throughout the book the importance of subject expertise for teachers' professional practice is explored at a range of scales: from the classroom to broad education policy, and at different stages of a teacher's career which offers readers a deeper understanding of the importance of subject expertise for teachers.
Teacher Subject Identity in Professional Practice makes a significant contribution to an under-researched area. It identifies the role and significance of teachers' subject expertise as a dimension of their teacher identity. The book is key reading for teacher educators, policy makers and researchers with an interest in teachers' professional development and practice.
Clare Brooks is the Head of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment and Senior Lecturer in Geography Education at UCL Institute of Education, UK.
1 Being a teacher in this day and age 2 Current professional knowledge landscapes 3 Subject expertise and subject knowledge: the case of geography 4 Subject and phase Identity 5 Subject stories and teacher identity 6 Navigating and forming school cultures 7 Navigating classroom practice 8 Subject identity through a career 9 A professional compass