Reconceptualizing Teacher Identity: Teachers’ Becoming in the Dynamic Complexity of Teaching Situations

in Journal of Teaching in Physical Education
View More View Less
  • 1 The University of Auckland
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $64.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $86.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $122.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $162.00

Research in physical education often focuses on how to improve the education of teachers and the achievement of students, based on an assumption of a relatively stable teacher identity. The focus of this study is to unsettle this perspective, drawing on complexity thinking and the concept of becoming to reconceptualize teacher identity as a fluid, dynamic identity performance that depends on multiple levels of interacting elements in teachers’ contexts, and significantly challenges the concept of being embedded in ideas of “best practice.” The results of an in‐depth qualitative study with seven health and physical education teachers showed that each teacher performed an adaptive multiplicity of self that responded to constraints in each moment of context‐specific teaching. The results suggest the need for a reconceptualization of teacher identity that understands it as comprised of many different performances of “teacher” and expressed in context‐specific moments of teacher becoming.

Puchegger is an independent scholar; this research was conducted while Puchegger was a doctoral student at The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. Bruce is with the Faculty of Education and Social Work, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

Puchegger (r.puchegger@posteo.de) is corresponding author.
  • Aitken, G. (2017, October). Ambition and its enemies: A report card on 40 years of leadership in education. Public Retrospective Lecture, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/about/perspectives/public-lectures/professor-graeme-aitken-2017.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Alton-Lee, A. (2003). Best evidence synthesis: Quality teaching for diverse students in schooling. Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Atencio, M., Jess, M., & Dewar, K. (2012). “It is a case of changing your thought processes, the way you actually teach”: Implementing a complex professional learning agenda in Scottish physical education. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 17(2), 127144. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bowes, M. (2010). Teaching as inquiry: What has influenced the development of senior school physical education in New Zealand? New Zealand Physical Educator, 43(2), 20.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bruce, T. (2014). A spy in the house of rugby: Living (in) the emotional spaces of nationalism and sport. Emotion, Space and Society, 12(1), 3240. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Bruce, T., & Saunders, R. (2005). Young people, media, sport and the physical education curriculum. Journal of Physical Education New Zealand, 38(1), 5166.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cilliers, P. (1998). Complexity and postmodernism: Understanding complex systems (1st ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Clarke, A.E. (2003). Situational analyses: Grounded theory mapping after the postmodern turn. Symbolic Interaction, 26(4), 553576. doi:

  • Cochran-Smith, M., Ell, F., Ludlow, L., Grudnoff, L., & Aitken, G. (2014). The challenge and promise of complexity theory for teacher education research. Teachers College Record, 116(5), 138.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Culpan, I., & Bruce, J. (2007). New Zealand physical education and critical pedagogy: Refocusing the curriculum. International Journal of Sport and Health Science, 5, 111. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Curtis, B., & Curtis, C. (2011). Social research: A practical introduction. Los Angeles, CA: Sage.

  • Davis, B. (2008). Complexity and education: Vital simultaneities. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 40(1), 5065. doi:

  • Davis, B., & Simmt, E. (2003). Understanding learning systems: Mathematics education and complexity science. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 34(2), 137167. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Davis, B., & Sumara, D. (2006). Complexity and education: Inquiries into learning, teaching, and research. Mahwah, NJ: Routledge.

  • Davis, B., Sumara, D., & Luce-Kapler, R. (2007). Engaging minds: Changing teaching in complex times (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

  • Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (2004). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia (7th ed.). London, UK: Continuum.

  • Ennis, C.D. (1992). Educational value orientations as a theoretical framework for experienced urban teachers’ curricular decision making. Journal of Research and Development in Education, 25(3), 156163.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Fitzpatrick, K. (2012). Critical pedagogy, physical education and urban schooling (1st ed.). New York, NY: Peter Lang Inc.

  • Gibson, B.E. (2008). Co-producing video diaries: The presence of the “absent” researcher. International Journal of Qualitative Methods—ARCHIVE, 4(4), 3443. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Glasby, P.M. (2000). Teacher constructions of health: A case study of school health education in Queensland (PhD thesis). University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Goldhaber, D. (2002). The mystery of good teaching. Education Next, 2(1), 5055.

  • Harper, D. (2002). Talking about pictures: A case for photo elicitation. Visual Studies, 17(1), 1326. doi:

  • Hattie, J. (2012). Visible learning for teachers: Maximizing impact on learning. New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Hopper, T. (2013). Emergence in school-integrated teacher education for elementary physical education teachers. In A. Ovens, T. Hopper, & J. Butler (Eds.), Complexity thinking in physical education: Reframing curriculum, pedagogy, and research (p. 151). New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hussain, H. (2018). Exploring physically active play in the early childhood curriculum from a complexity thinking perspective. Sport, Education and Society, 23(5), 475490. doi:.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hussain, H.B. (2011). Complicity in games of chase and complexity thinking: Emergence in curriculum and practice-based research (PhD thesis). University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/handle/10092/5892

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hussain, H.B., Conner, L., & Mayo, E. (2014). Envisioning curriculum as six simultaneities. Complicity: An International Journal of Complexity and Education, 11(1):5984. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Keating, X.D., Zhou, K., Liu, J., Shangguan, R., Fan, Y., & Harrison, L. (2017). Research on preservice physical education teachers’ and preservice elementary teachers’ physical education identities: A systematic review. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 36, 162172. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kincheloe, J., & Berry, K. (2004). Rigour & complexity in educational research (1st ed.). New York, NY: Open University Press.

  • Kincheloe, J.L. (2001). Describing the bricolage: Conceptualizing a new rigor in qualitative research. Qualitative Inquiry, 7(6), 679692. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Kirk, D., & Macdonald, D. (1998). Situated learning in physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 17(3), 376387. doi:

  • Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

  • Marble, S. (2012). Becoming-teacher: Encounters with the other in teacher education. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 33(1), 2131. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Masny, D. (Ed.). (2013). Cartographies of becoming in education: A Deleuze-Guattari perspective. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

  • Mason, M. (2008). What is complexity theory and what are its implications for educational change? Educational Philosophy and Theory, 40(1), 3549. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mercieca, D. (2012). Becoming-teachers: Desiring students. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 44, 4356. doi:

  • Ovens, A. (2017). Transformative aspirations and realities in physical education teacher education (PETE). In C. Ennis (Ed.), Routledge handbook of physical education pedagogies (pp. 295306). London, UK: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ovens, A., & Butler, J. (2016). Complexity, curriculum and the design of learning systems. In C. Ennis (Ed.), Handbook of physical education pedagogies (pp. 97111). New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ovens, A., Flory, S.B., Sutherland, S., Philpot, R., Walton-Fisette, J.L., Hill, J., . . . Flemons, M. (2018). How PETE comes to matter in the performance of social justice education. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 23(5), 484496. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ovens, A., Hopper, T., & Butler, J. (Eds.). (2013a). Complexity thinking in physical education: Reframing curriculum, pedagogy and research (1st ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ovens, A., Hopper, T., & Butler, J. (2013b). Reframing curriculum, pedagogy and research. In A. Ovens, T. Hopper, & J. Butler (Eds.), Complexity thinking in physical education: Reframing curriculum, pedagogy and research (pp. 113). New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Pringle, R. (2010). Finding pleasure in physical education: A critical examination of the educative value of positive movement affects. Quest, 62(2), 119134. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Puchegger, R. (2018). The complexity of becoming HPE teacher: A study of HPE teachers’ performances of self in the moments of teaching (PhD thesis). The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2292/37342

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Rubie-Davies, C.M., Flint, A., & McDonald, L.G. (2012). Teacher beliefs, teacher characteristics, and school contextual factors: What are the relationships? British Journal of Educational Psychology, 82(2), 270288. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Schoone, A. (2015). Constellations of alternative education tutor essences: A phenomenological poetic inquiry (Thesis, ResearchSpace@Auckland). Retrieved from https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/handle/2292/27374

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Strom, K.J. (2014). Becoming-teacher: The negotiation of teaching practice of first-year secondary science teachers prepared in a hybrid urban teacher education program. Montcliar, NJ: Montclair State University. Retrieved from http://gradworks.umi.com/36/17/3617644.html

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tinning, R., & Rossi, A. (2013). Thinking about complexity thinking for physical education. In A. Ovens, T. Hopper, & J. Butler (Eds.), Complexity thinking in physical education: Reframing curriculum, pedagogy and research (pp. 194206). New York, NY: Routledge.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tsangaridou, N. (2005). Classroom teachers’ reflections on teaching physical education. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 24(1), 2450. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tsangaridou, N., & O’Sullivan, M. (1994). Using pedagogical reflective strategies to enhance reflection among preservice physical education teachers. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 14(1), 1333. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Tsangaridou, N., & O’Sullivan, M. (2003). Physical education teachers’ theories of action and theories-in-use. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 22(2), 132152. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Urry, J. (2005). The complexity turn. Theory, Culture and Society, 22(5), 114. doi:

  • Webb, P.T. (2013). Nial-a-pend-de-quacy-in: Teacher becomings and the micropolitics of self-semiotics. In D. Masny (Ed.), Cartographies of becoming in education: A Deleuze-Guattari perspective (pp. 163177). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Weick, K.E. (1976). Educational organizations as loosely coupled systems. Administrative Science Quarterly, 21(1), 119. doi:

  • XMind Ltd. (2016). XMind Mind Mapping Software [Computer software]. Hong Kong. Retrieved from https://www.xmind.net/

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 242 242 33
Full Text Views 11 11 3
PDF Downloads 9 9 1