Faculty Identity Development Through Story: A Narrative Study in a Higher Education Context
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Many higher education faculty members are not trained to teach during their graduate study; thus, faculty development programs (FDPs) can provide systematic opportunity for teaching training. While FDPs are prevalent in higher education today, many such programs focus on practical or pedagogical skill development while neglecting to provide opportunity for the holistic identity development for faculty members. The purpose of this narrative inquiry study was to explore the stories of faculty members regarding their identity development with connection to their instructional practice within Midwest higher education settings. Within this study, I highlight the identity development stories of six faculty members across two Midwest higher education institutions. The study specifically uses the stories of these participants to explore their experiences with identity development as tied to their pedagogical practices. Data were collected through a crystallization process that included interviews, a qualitative survey, and document analysis of participants’ teaching statements. Post data collection, I constructed stories of participants’ experiences, member checking each story with each participant to ensure validity. There were four common themes across the six participant stories: Learner-Centeredness, Teacher Mentorship & Modeling, Meaning-Making, and Holistic Development. This interdisciplinary study across the fields of English and Education, provides insight into the value of autobiographical reflection and storied writing activities (storying) for instructional identity development, illustrating participants’ perceived connection between narrative identity development and their pedagogical practice. Additionally, the study includes stories of how participants’ own prior teachers from their life informed their own instructional identity development, which in turn inform the ways they mentor and develop their own students in learner-centered ways. Ultimately, the study provides insight into the ways that narrative and storying can be used to facilitate faculty identity development; thus, it is particularly helpful for higher education faculty, faculty developers, and administrators.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Review of literature -- Methodology -- Data analysis: findings & common narrative themes -- Conclusions and recommendations
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)