Home Articles Reader Opinion Editorial Book Reviews Discussion Writers Guide About TCRecord
transparent 13

“Becoming” a Teacher

by Mary Louise Gomez , Rebecca W. Black & Anna-Ruth Allen - 2007

Background/Context: In this article, we trace the development of a prospective secondary science teacher as she begins to examine her identity as a White person. We explore how the social languages of her teacher education program challenge, intermingle, and blend with ones she brought to the program from her midwestern small-town childhood and a professional life in science.

Research Design: In this case study, we deploy Russian philosopher M. M. Bakhtin’s notion of ideological becoming to trace her development from program entry through four semesters of program participation. We show how various fieldwork, course, and volunteer experiences challenge the ways she talks and thinks about herself, her students, teaching, and the roles that race/ethnicity and culture play in these relationships.

Research Questions: We ask: How does this prospective teacher understand her identity as a White person? What relationship does she understand that this identity has to teaching students who are from many different cultural backgrounds? What kinds of dilemmas arise for a prospective teacher when she begins to understand who she is as a White person? How does she negotiate them? And what role does her teacher education program play in encouraging and supporting her negotiations?

Conclusions/Recommendations: The article concludes by considering what practicing teachers and university teacher educators might do to support new teachers who have begun to question their identities and those of their students, and to craft pedagogy to meet students’ needs. Included in the recommendations are considerations for the location of classroom placements for prospective teachers; the nurturing of collaborative relationships between classroom teachers and university teachers; teacher education program pedagogy that promotes critical inquiry into issues of race; and the development of communities of prospective teachers who can struggle with such issues as their identities as racialized beings.

To view the full-text for this article you must be signed-in with the appropriate membership. Please review your options below:

Store a cookie on my computer that will allow me to skip this sign-in in the future.
Send me my password -- I can't remember it
Purchase this Article
Purchase “Becoming” a Teacher
Individual-Resource passes allow you to purchase access to resources one resource at a time. There are no recurring fees.
Become a Member
Online Access
With this membership you receive online access to all of TCRecord's content. The introductory rate of $25 is available for a limited time.
Print and Online Access
With this membership you receive the print journal and free online access to all of TCRecord's content.

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 109 Number 9, 2007, p. 2107-2135
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 14486, Date Accessed: 6/12/2021 9:40:50 AM

Purchase Reprint Rights for this article or review
Article Tools
Related Articles

Related Discussion
Post a Comment | Read All

About the Author
  • Mary Gomez
    University of Wisconsin–Madison
    E-mail Author
    MARY LOUISE GOMEZ is professor of literacy studies and teacher education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where she researches how prospective and practicing teachers learn to be responsive to the strengths and needs of their students. Recent publications include “Textual Tactics of Identification” in Anthropology and Education Quarterly (2004) with coauthors J. C. Stone and N. Hobbel; and “Conversations on Teaching Reading: From the Point of View of Point of View” in English Education (2004) with coauthors J. C. Stone and J. Kroeger.
  • Rebecca Black
    University of California, Irvine
    E-mail Author
    REBECCA W. BLACK is an assistant professor at the University of California—Irvine where she researches the literacy and social practices of English language learners in online environments and the intersections between formal and informal learning spaces. Recent publications include “Access and Affiliation: The Literacy and Composition Practices of English Language Learners in an Online Fanfiction Community” in the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (2005); and “Online Fanfiction: What Technology and Popular Culture Can Teach Us About Writing and Literacy Instruction” in New Horizons for Learning Online Journal (2005).
  • Anna-Ruth Allen
    University of Rochester
    E-mail Author
    ANNA-RUTH ALLEN is assistant professor of literacy studies at the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester. Her research focuses on how youth construct identities for themselves through language and literacy practices in and out of schools. She is coauthor of “Language, Class, and Identity: Teenagers Fashioning Themselves Through Language” in Linguistics and Education (2001), and “Cultural Models of Care in Teaching” in Teaching and Teacher Education (2004).
Member Center
In Print
This Month's Issue