Unveiling the TikTok teacher: The construction of teacher identity in the digital spotlight

Mark B. ULLA, Henry E. LEMANA, Lucas Mathias Alfred KOHNKE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

The current study explores the TikTok identities of Thai university teachers and how those identities impact their professional identity as teachers. Five English as a Foreign Language (EFL) university teachers in Thailand voluntarily participated in semi-structured individual interviews. Findings obtained using an exploratory-descriptive qualitative research design confirmed existing findings that teachers’ identities are multifaceted. However, in the context of a digital teacher’s identity, teachers displayed unique identities (e.g., expressive, relational, adaptive, and progressive) that also shaped their identity as teacher-educators. Such identities impact their professional teacher’s identity, allowing them to project an authentic teacher-self, become caring and approachable teachers to their students and colleagues, forge genuine connections, and implement pedagogical innovations and practices. The findings also acknowledge the profound influence of TikTok on teachers’ identities and professional practices. Furthermore, this study highlights the convergence of technology and social media platforms as influential in constructing a teacher’s professional identity and promoting pedagogical advances. The findings offer a significant contribution, shedding light on the potential advantages of using TikTok within the teaching and learning process. Copyright © 2024 The Author(s).

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalJournal of Interactive Media in Education
Volume2024
Issue number1
Early online dateMay 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Citation

Ulla, M. B., Lemana, H. E., & Kohnke, L. (2024). Unveiling the TikTok teacher: The construction of teacher identity in the digital spotlight. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2024(1), Article 12. https://doi.org/10.5334/jime.845

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