The interactive model views the teacher as a powerful socializing agent and establishes links between biographical characteristics and the demands of different contexts. This study describes the dynamic interaction of factors related to teacher role identity and school context. Specifically the goal was to employ case studies to examine the biographies of three first-year teachers to determine how individual perception of the teaching role impacts professional development during the first year of teaching. Using subject interviews, field notes, lesson plans, student performance data, and informal interviews with administrators and coworkers, a comparison was made between the cases to learn how the teaching perspectives of first-year teachers interact with school contexts. Results support the notion that the beginning teacher can be an active agent in controlling the direction of biography and social structures in the socialization process.
M.A. Solmon, T. Worthy, and J.A. Carter are with the Department of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.