Hur lärare formar sin yrkesidentitet

Två studier som visar på spänningarna när en lärare blir till.

Ingela Bergmo Prvulovic, som forskar om karriär och karriärvägledning, har i en ny publikation tillsammans med Kristina Hansson vid Umeå universitet bland annat visat på spänningarna som kan uppstå som en följd av satsningen på karriärtjänster: Governance of teachers' professional development and learning within a new career position. Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster.


In 2013, the Swedish government introduced a career reform for teachers (SFS 2013, p. 70) that established two new career-track positions, namely, lead teachers and senior subject teachers. This study analyses the process of integrating this career reform into the Swedish school system in its early stage and focuses on lead teachers’ professional development and learning when trying to interpret and translate this new career position in their daily working life. The study explored teacher´s ideas, strategies and actions to govern themselves in relation to the demands for research and proven experience within the career reform, as well as their underlying views of career. For the empirical data collection, we interviewed twelve lead teachers. The analysis of the data generated four different governmentalities that these teachers used to govern themselves when trying to handle the career reform in their practices: the school developer, the process manager, the subject specialist and the involuntary careerist. Teachers relate their rationalities to different career discourses where organizational, individual and professional discourses are prominent to various degrees. Furthermore, underlying representations of career relate to both hierarchical views, and to a perspective of exchange. In addition, two new representations of career emerged: career as a non-hierarchical or equal level position, and career as a sorting tool. The results indicate that lead teachers have found themselves caught in tensions between multifaceted meanings of career, research-based education, and personal and organizational pressures associated with the intentions of the career reform.

Andreas Ebbelind vid Linnéuniversitetet har i sin forskning visat att lärarstudenternas egen skolgång spelar in när de formar sin yrkesidentitet, vilket kan leda till spänningar och ifrågasättande av lärarutbildningen, berättar han i en intervju med Skolporten Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster.. Han har bland annat presenterat sina resultat i artikeln Understanding student teachers’ professional development by looking beyond mathematics teacher education Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster., och i sin avhandling Becoming recognised as mathematically proficient: The role of a primary school teacher education programme (2020) Länk till annan webbplats, öppnas i nytt fönster..


This study focuses on upper primary prospective teachers in their first years of a teacher education programme in Sweden, in particular, a 20-week mathematics education course. It aims to contribute with insight into how, or even if, experience from a teacher education programme and other relevant past and present social practices and figured worlds plays a role in prospective generalist teachers’ imaginings of themselves as primary mathematics teachers-to-be and potentially shapes their identity. The theoretical perspective, Patterns of Participation, guides the logic and the research process and is used to interpret the construct of professional identity development. Ethnographic methods were crucial during the research process, which starts by taking a wide perspective on relevant social practices and then focuses exclusively on the everyday lives of prospective teachers.

This study adds to the understanding of how the similarities in the discursive patterns of two prospective teachers, Evie and Lisa, frame their processes as teachers-to-be by staying committed to their prior positive experiences of mathematics. The figured world of performative mathematics is a significant aspect of Evie’s and Lisa’s experience, which involves being recognised for mathematical ability. Evie’s identity development is framed in relation to how her degree of certainty changes during her teacher education experience. She became recognised as someone who helps others in mathematics and found a way of performing this role during the teacher education programme. Lisa’s identity development is framed in relation to her commitment to the figured world of performative mathematics. She became recognised as a winner of competitions and for quickly completing the textbook exercises – experiences that proved formative during her teacher education programme.

In this study, I conclude that the teacher education programme has an impact regarding prospective teachers’ professional development, but perhaps not in the way teacher educators expect or want. Thus, the teacher educators’ intention for the education programme differs from the result. An important aspect is that prospective teachers are not challenged first and foremost by encountering the theoretical perspectives involved in teaching mathematics. Instead, their prior experience is confirmed when used as a key source in determining what teaching mathematics means in terms of identity.