Theses Doctoral

They’re Already Teachers: Exploring Notions of Identity, Belonging, and Community With Teacher Education Students

Fraboni, Michelle Clusiau

Interest in the elementary education major by underrepresented minority (URM) students at a public four-year institution (Queens College) increased from 36% of declared majors in 2012 to 51% in 2017. However, a disproportionate number of URM students drop out of the educator pipeline, leaving the average percentage of URMs who complete the elementary education major at 22%. While there has been a great deal of research on the preparation of preservice teachers, the bulk of the scholarly literature is focused on the final student teaching practicum and preservice teachers’ experiences at the end of their academic programs. Little research has been done on beginning teacher education students and how their educational experiences, both past and present, influence the way they see themselves as learners and future teachers.
Guided by a sociocultural lens, this qualitative study examines teacher education students’ educational experiences and how those experiences influence and shape their paths into the teaching profession. The study was conducted using an interpretive inquiry approach to enable the exploration of participants’ lived educational experiences (Connelly & Clandinin, 1990), using data collected from semi-structured interviews, critical incident reports, and a focus group. Analyses informed by narrative inquiry and grounded theory methodologies were used to look across data collected from participants to paint a rich chronicle of the participants’ stories.
Findings highlight the pedagogy of care in conversation with notions of identity, belonging, and community, in order to note its significance for the more oft- studied aspects of teaching. This study contributes to research on teacher education and teaching and learning in higher education, and considers a different perspective on long-standing ideas about communities of practice.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Thesis Advisors
Vasudevan, Lalitha M.
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
March 7, 2019