Professional Learning and Identities in Teaching : International Narratives of Successful Teachers book cover
1st Edition

Professional Learning and Identities in Teaching
International Narratives of Successful Teachers

  • Available for pre-order on December 19, 2022. Item will ship after January 9, 2023
ISBN 9780367747138
January 9, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
220 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book explores the reflective potentialities offered by analyses of teachers’ professional learning narratives. The book has a specific focus on narratives on professional learning and professional identities emerging from different contexts and gives a deeper understanding of successful teachers’ narratives globally.

Diverging from universally standardized constructions of idealized teacher identity and professional learning, the book provides analyses of a diversified set of cases with detailed descriptions of each teacher’s idiographic and professional context to gain a deeper understanding of situated professional identities. With contributions from a range of international backgrounds, it shows teachers of various age groups, subject areas and curricula contribute their narratives to help readers reflect on different trajectories toward becoming a teacher. These narratives provide insight into and a deeper understanding of the conditions and complex processes that being a "successful" teacher involves within these case studies, providing a useful contribution to the field of teacher education.

Professional Learning and Identities in Teaching: International Narratives of Successful Teachers will be of great interest to researchers, academics, and post-graduate students of teacher education and international and comparative education.

Table of Contents



1. Remaining a student of teaching forever: Critical reflexive insights from a lifetime of multiple teacher identities in the Republic of Ireland


2. From success/failure binaries to teaching for justice: Conceptualizing education as access, responsibility, dignity, and transparency


3. Teacher narratives as counter-narratives of successful teaching


4. “If I can do it at this school, you can put me anywhere”: Case studies from Australian graduate teachers in diverse and challenging schools


5. Professional development of EFL teachers through reflective practice in a supportive community of practice


6. Looking back with pride—looking forward in hope: The narratives of a transformative teacher


7. Understanding a teacher’s professional identity through pedagogical rhythm


8. Revisiting selves through a “success” perspective: An autoethnographic quest of a language teacher across intercultural spaces


9. Path toward the construction of a professional identity: A narrative inquiry into a language teacher’s experiences


10. “Successful teaching”: Neoliberal influences and emerging counter-narratives


Conclusion: Context, interconnectedness, balance, and risk in teachers’ narratives


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A. Cendel Karaman is Professor in the Faculty of Education at Middle East Technical University, Turkey. His research focuses on interculturality, teacher education, curriculum, professional development, identity, language education, and international mobility in education.

Silvia Edling is a Professor and excellent teacher at the Academy of Education and Business Studies at University of Gävle, Sweden, and specializes in questions concerning democracy, teacher professionalism, historical consciousness ethics, justice, and rights in education and higher education.


"The publication of this book is a relief. Scholarly as well as ethically. An international group of authors stands up against the worldwide dominance of standardized, de-contextualised comparative approaches in educational policies and research agendas in which their meaning is reduced to a narrow idea of effectiveness. The authors in this book don't deny the importance of effectiveness in education. Yet, they rightfully stress that this concern needs be addressed -conceptually as well as empirically- in ways that acknowledge the inevitable contextualised nature of teaching, as well as the crucial issue of purpose in education (and the ethical, normative choices it implies). Replacing effective teaching by the broader and more appropriate concept of successful teaching, the different contributions in the book seek to build a stronger research-based understanding of teacher professionalism and identity, as well as their development in the particularities of a time-space context. Narrative approaches once more demonstrate their theoretical and methodological power for this scholarly endeavor."

Geert Kelchtermans, Professor of Education, University of Leuven, Belgium (KULeuven); Chair of the Centre for Innovation and the Development of Teacher and School.


"This book, Professional Learning and Identities in Teaching: International Narratives of Successful Teachers, is a volume to savor due to the vast international insights it offers. Editors Cendel Karaman and Silvia Edling are to be commended for inviting a broad range of international scholars to share narratives of teacher success in their home countries. Stories of experience are arguably the only way to show what teachers know and do. Such narratives unavoidably include contextual factors that bound teachers’ knowing, doing and being. They offer windows into teachers’ professional learning trajectories and identities-in-the-making. Such matters are never conclusive; rather, they repeatedly play out as time passes and new interactions unfurl. The teacher narratives in this volume are vivid and particularistic. Equally revealing is the extent to which neo-liberal agendas are grippingly present in international systems of education. Personal experience methods (i.e., narrative inquiry, autoethnography) are the only way to unleash teachers’ voices in socially engineered educational milieus rife with propositional knowledge claims and instrumentalist thinking. Reading this book is a profound experience. Like Cendel Karaman and Silvia Edling, I recommend that readers think with the many stories that follow. I also invite readers to imagine contextual shifts that could more fully support successful teachers’ practices. The editors and authors provide plentiful clues concerning how things could be otherwise. Because teachers are the only ones who meet students in flesh-and-blood moments, the future is in their hands regardless of the views of those external to classrooms and schools."

Cheryl J. Craig, PhD, Professor, Houston Endowment Endowed Chair of Urban Education and American Educational Research Fellow, Texas A&M University, USA

"This book provides the reader with a clear and rich account of how professional learning and identities are central to teaching and teacher education. Drawing upon case studies from various contexts, the book demonstrates vividly the importance of looking at the complexity of teaching from the inside. It should be read by teachers, teacher educators, policy makers, researchers and all those interested in learning more about the process of becoming a teacher."

Maria Assunção Flores, Professor, Institute of Education, University of Minho, Portugal; Editor, European Journal of Teacher Education

"The Professional Learning and Identities in Teaching: International Narratives of Successful Teachers book provides a rich collection of narratives, from an international group of authors, of teachers’ professional stories that focus on their professional identity and professional learning. This book is highly recommended for educators, and those involved in international and comparative education, who seek a better understanding of professional learning and the identities of “successful teachers”. The book will provide an interesting and valuable contribution to the literature read by teachers and will be of particular interest to researchers and academics, and students studying on initial teacher education programmes."

Nigel Quirke-Bolt, cited in Educational Review, DOI: 10.1080/00131911.2021.1994779