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Student teachers' professional identity construction through famous education quotes

Chin-Wen Chien (Department of English Instruction, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Article publication date: 11 February 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023




Since a teacher's identity is the result of ongoing discussion, explanation, negotiation and justification, famous education quotes were integrated into a language teacher practicum in a teacher education program in the northwest university in Taiwan. This study aims to explore the influence of discussing education quotes on 10 English as a foreign language student teachers' professional identities. This study also aims to discuss the following research questions.


This case study focused on 10 student teachers' identity construction in a practicum class under one advisor. According to Merriam (1998), a case is a “thing, a single entity, a unit around which there are boundaries” (p. 27). The case was a practicum and the unit of analysis was participants' identity construction.


First, reading and discussing famous quotes was a useful “discourse” and “language” for student teachers to construct and negotiate their identities. Second, through the integration of reading and discussing quotes, participants revealed more professional identity in knowledge and expertise, particularly in English instruction in the post-test.

Research limitations/implications

This study examined the influence of discussing educational quotes of 10 students’ professional identity. However, given the nature of the study, there were some limitations. First, although the small sample size offered rich data through observation, artifacts and pre-and post-tests, it restricts our ability to generalize the results.

Practical implications

This study is highly practical (i.e. learning by discussion) and strongly interactive among the participant in a professional and social context. The conceptual framework in Figure 1 presents a theoretical framework supporting reading and discussing quotes as the discourse for the student teachers for their professional identity construction. Social context and relationship shape their professional identity (Izadinia, 2013). Student teachers spent much of their time with their cooperating teachers and administrators in their cooperating schools. In order to foster student teachers’ professional identity construction, it is recommended that student teachers should be encouraged to read and discuss educational quotes with teachers and administrators in their cooperating schools as a mean of professional dialogue and learning.

Social implications

In this study, it was argued that educational or English teaching quotes could be used as viable, effective and appropriate materials in documenting student teachers' professional identity construction out of their classroom practice in their practicum. The findings of this study derived from the nature of 10 student teachers' professional learning via discussing famous education sayings, and professional learning took place during the practicum.


Most of the studies reviewed above were small-scale and qualitative case studies. Some involved only one or two single cases (e.g. Antonek et al., 1997; Calandra et al., 2006; Camp, 2013). Only a few studies were analyzed and explored based on theoretical frameworks (e.g. Chasteen, 2015). No explicit references were made to any theoretical frameworks in most of the studies. This study included both qualitative (observation and artifacts) and quantitative data (pretest and posttest) to explore the influence of discussing education quotes on 10 student teachers' professional identities and reflective practices.



Chien, C.-W. (2023), "Student teachers' professional identity construction through famous education quotes", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 20-33.



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