Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Education Theory and Practice


Curriculum and Instruction

Content Description

1 online resource (pages viii, 134) : PDF file, illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Vicky Kouba

Committee Members

Alan Oliveira, Kristen Wilcox


Professional Development, Teacher Identity, Teachers, Teacher-student relationships

Subject Categories

Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development


Teaching is a complex relationship of the "I", the "Thou" and the "It" as described by David Hawkins (1974). This study examines the "I", a teacher's professional identity, as it is revealed in a specific professional development activity focused on examining students and student work known as the "Descriptive Review of a Child". Using a phenomenological case study approach, I followed four individual teachers throughout their engagement in the inservice as well as conducted post-interviews to the activity. The theoretical frameworks of the "I", "thou" and "it" by Hawkins and the "core reflection" by Korthagen provided the constructs used to investigate the revelation of a teacher's professional identity during the professional development activity and reflection. Looking for tensions that may exist between the teacher's self and the instructional process or culture was also investigated. Findings showed that the teacher's identity can be revealed in the "Descriptive Review of a Child" and in the reflection on the experience. The teacher identity was discovered to be an interwoven relational factor throughout this professional development experience. Tensions between the teacher's self and instruction or culture within the classroom or school were also found. Bringing awareness of teacher professional identity within professional development activities can provide valuable insight for professional development specialists seeking to support teacher learning.