Self, role and character: an investigation into factors contributing to the development of professional identity
Kempe, A. (2012) Self, role and character: an investigation into factors contributing to the development of professional identity. Teacher Development. ISSN 1747-5120 (In Press)
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The paper reports on research into what may have influenced trainees on four post-graduate teacher training courses in England to become specialist drama teachers rather than pursue careers in the world of professional entertainment. In doing so it raises questions regarding the value of considering teaching as a performing art. The paper goes on to explore how drama trainees regard an understanding of performance, and an ability to both use and demonstrate performance techniques, as integral to their role as subject specialists. The subsequent discussion examines how a drama teacher’s professional identity may be seen as being made up of the three inter-connected elements, self, role and character. Thus, while all teaching may be considered to involve some elements of performativity , this paper suggests that, for the drama specialist, an understanding of what constitutes ‘performance’ has a particular importance. One conclusion drawn from the research is that recognising the place of performance in their practice may result in experienced teachers of drama regarding themselves as artists whose art is teaching drama; another is that recognising the different ways in which adopting a role may involve performance could be of value to all teachers and teacher educators.
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