Exploring the Relationships between Possible Selves and Early Teacher Identity of Turkish Pre-service Teachers
Pre-service teacher (PST) education at higher education institutions is pivotal to early teacher identity development. Possible selves theory presents a framework for understanding teacher professional identity, which is theoretically supported but not empirically tested sufficiently. This study set out to examine PSTs’ early teacher identity in the Turkish context and the expected and feared possible selves of PSTs as predictors of early teacher identity through structural equation modeling based on empirical data from 350 freshmen and senior PSTs. The results suggest that PSTs’ expected teacher possible selves have a medium level significant and positive effect on early teacher identity, while feared teacher possible selves have a low level significant and negative effect on early teacher identity. PSTs’ early teacher identity and possible selves were found as very high, which is also examined in terms of gender, grade, and department variables. The results are discussed, and suggestions are offered for pre-service teacher education.
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