Understanding novice teachers’ identities through metaphors: A multi-perspective study

Rui YUAN, Wei LIU, Wai Ho Kevin YUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Employing ‘identity’ as an analytical lens, this study examined a group of novice school counselling teachers’ (SCTs) professional identities in the Chinese context. Informed by a multiple, integrated theoretical perspective focusing on the cognitive, social, and emotional dimensions of teacher identities, the findings reveal five types of metaphors (i.e. cognitive, social, cognitive-emotional, social-emotional and cognitive-social-emotional) that reflect the novice SCTs’ most prominent identities in their embedded institutional and social contexts. The study contributes to our understanding of SCTs’ professional experiences and identity construction mediated by a range of personal (e.g. limited professional competence) and contextual factors (e.g. a lack of school support and social bias against psychological counselling). It also provides useful implications on how to promote and sustain new teachers’ continuing identity development in complex school settings. Copyright © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-839
JournalResearch Papers in Education
Issue number6
Early online date21 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2022


Yuan, R., Liu, W., & Yung, K. (2022). Understanding novice teachers’ identities through metaphors: A multi-perspective study. Research Papers in Education, 37(6), 821-839. doi: 10.1080/02671522.2020.1864771


  • Teacher identity
  • Metaphor
  • Novice teachers
  • School counselling teachers


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