Degree Granting Department
Tony Erben, Ph.D.
Activity theory, Teacher development, Narrative, Social learning
This study seeks to understand the transmogrification of four Mexican foreign language teachers as they participate in a teaching exchange in American schools throughout the United States. Previous research into development of competent membership in given communities of practice points to the need for mutual engagement with other community members, an understanding of the community activity, and a shared repertoire among community members. Framed within an activity theory perspective, the present study examined how the teachers's socio-historical background, cultural tools and artifacts, along with other pedagogical activities, community rules, and division of labor mediated the teachers' understanding of their professional identity within their exchange communities. Situated within a cohort of thirteen exchange teachers, these four teachers employed an electronic discussion board, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and instant messaging to narrate their experiences as
well as create a global support community. Data collected from these electronic medium were employed as research texts to evidence shared construction of teacher identity within the teachers' local communities. The research texts, in turn, served as data for the development of narrative accounts of these teachers' activities and experiences as mediational factors in community participation. Findings from this study uncover the importance of pedagogical activity as a mediational factor in the transmogrification of teacher identity for these exchange teachers. In additon, it is suggested that culturally shared repertoire, family participation, and social interaction are essential factors in mediating competent community membership in local communities. Finally, this study points to the fluid nature of teacher identity; it proposes that this conceptualization of self-as-teacher is constantly transforming due to mediation by pedagogic activity and participation in local communities of prac
Scholar Commons Citation
Ban, Ruth, "Community of practice as community of learners: How foreign language teachers understand professional and language identities" (2006). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.