An Investigation of Prospective Teachers’ Views Regarding Teacher Identity via Metaphors1

Aysegul KARABAY2*
2* Assist Prof., Faculty of Education, Cukurova University, Adana, Turkey.
DOI: 10.14689/ejer.2016.65.01


Problem Statement: Teacher identity refers to the construct of the professional personality that is formed during career advancement. The teaching identity has cognitive, social and professional elements. By using metaphors enable analysis in an organizational sense and open up a new perspective that can clarify a complex event. When teachers` and prospective teacher candidates` professional identities is analyzed, it is noteable that how often metaphors are employed. With this perspective, to investigate teachers’ or prospective teachers’ views about their teaching identities metaphore is very suitable tool. For these reasons, a metaphor study can be an appropriate tool to investigate teachers’ or prospective teachers’ views about their teaching identities. Moreover, raising awareness about teacher identity may help improve teacher training programs.

Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study was to analyze the views of prospective teacher candidates, all students in the Department of Turkish Language, regarding their professional identities via metaphor analysis.

Method: This paper discusses a phenomenological study used to determine how prospective Turkish language teachers construct the meaning of being a Turkish language teacher through their use of metaphors. The participants in this study comprised 123 prospective teachers who had studied in the Faculty of Education at a state university on Turkey’s southern coast. Among the participating prospective teachers, 55% were female (n=68) and 45% were male (n=55); 26% (n=32) were first-year students, 24% (n=30) were second-year students, 28% (n=34) were thirdyear students, and 22% (n=27) were fourth-year students. A total of 123 participants were asked to complete the expression a Turkish language teacher is like …… because ……… by using metaphors. The metaphors produced by the participants were analyzed using the five stages Which are “coding and elimination stage”, “sample metaphor compilation stage”, “sorting and categorization stage”, “establishing the inter-rater reliability rate” and “analyzing data quantitatively”. The data were analyzed by a chi-square test to detect dominant groups.

Findings and Results: As a result of the research, prospective teachers were found to develop 41 valid metaphors, which were then thematically coded into six main categories. It is concluded that the participating prospective Turkish language teachers generally regard the profession as a source of information and their metaphors did not differ across academic class levels.

Conclusion and Recommendations: In sum, based on the results that more than half of the prospective teachers defined a teacher according to traditional roles. The most important traditional role was presenting information to the student. The results illustrate that pre-license experiences, teacher training and professional experiences affect the formation of a teacher’s identity. In this paper, candidates’ values, beliefs, and so on are not included. Another study could be conducted to evaluate metaphors based on those points.

Keywords: Teacher Training, Language Teacher, Mental Images of Teacher, Qualitative Research.