Guardian of the Status Quo or Agent of Change?: An Exploration of the Role of Identity in the School

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date


Publication Title

Teacher Identity and the Struggle for Recognition: Meeting the Challenges of a Diverse Society




Book Summary: Teacher identity is shaped by recognition or its absence, often by misrecognition of others. Recognition as a teacher, or the strong and complex identification with one’s professional culture and community, is necessary for a positive sense of self. Increasingly, teachers are entering educational settings where difference connotes not equal, better/worse, or having more/less power over resources. Differences between discourses of identity are braided at many points with a discourse of racism, both interpersonal and structural.

Teacher Identity and the Struggle for Recognition examines the nature of identity and recognition as social, cultural, and political constructs. In particular, the contributing authors to the book present discussions of the professional work necessary in teacher preparation programs concerned with preparing teachers for the complexities of teaching in schools that mirror an increasingly diverse society. Importantly, the authors illuminate many of the often problematic structures of schooling and the cultural politics that work to define one’s identity – drawing into specific relief the nature of the struggle for recognition that all face who choose to entering teaching as a profession.