Preparing to be future early childhood teachers: Undergraduate students’ perceptions of their identity

Runke HUANG, Hao ZHENG, Tianxue DUAN, Weipeng YANG, Hui LI

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

Teachers’ professional identities, or the professional images teachers have of themselves, play an essential role in teachers’ pedagogical knowledge and their propensity to stay in the profession. Even though with a shared recognition of the importance of professional identities among teachers, research is limited in terms of examining preservice teachers’ professional identities in early childhood education (ECE). This study, thus, investigated Chinese ECE undergraduate students’ perception of their identities as future teachers and the factors perceived to influence their professional identities. Altogether 182 preservice early childhood (EC) teachers were surveyed, and six graduates from the teacher training programmes were interviewed. Latent profile analyses generated three profiles of professional identity: low, medium, and high profiles. Regression analyses revealed that the year of study negatively predicted preservice teachers’ profile of professional identity, while the academic competency positively predicted the profile. Further interviews indicated that the social images of EC teachers, professional learning in universities, and requirements in kindergartens were perceived as the main obstacles to achieving a high identity, which refers to a strong, emotional recognition of ECE, satisfaction with the teacher education programme, and positive career prospects. Copyright © 2022 Australian Teacher Education Association.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education
Early online date23 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Apr 2022

Citation

Huang, R., Zheng, H., Duan, T., Yang, W., & Li, H. (2022). Preparing to be future early childhood teachers: Undergraduate students’ perceptions of their identity. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1080/1359866X.2022.2066506

Keywords

  • Early childhood education
  • Preservice teachers
  • Professional identity
  • Influencing factors
  • The onion model

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