Social psychologists have claimed that social representations influence not only how individuals construct their social and professional identities but how they evolve within their chosen career as well. This research analyses how these representations influence or are influenced by initial teacher training programs and seeks to determine what influence they have on the construction of social and professional identities among student teachers in Kenya. Primarily based on open ended questionnaires and semi structured interviews, this presentation contrasts beginning student representations to those held by final year student teachers. The findings raise serious doubts about the pre service training’s ability to precipitate positive outcomes and develop professional identities among student teachers. It appears necessary to deconstruct negative social representations if any positive outcomes are to be achieved. The findings equally highlight the need to take into consideration student representations when (re)formulating training curricula. If our results draw attention to the limits of the training proposed, they also underline the need to change the image of the teacher as is portrayed in society. In this paper, I discuss the social representation of student teachers and the implications of the same on the construction of professional identities.
|Keywords:||Social and Professional Representations, Identity Construction, Professional Training, Kenya, Teachers|
Doctoral Student, Teaching and Research Fellow, Université Paris-Est Créteil (UPEC), PARIS, PARIS, France
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