Prospective mathematics teachers’ self-referential metaphors as indicators of the emerging professional identity
Keywords:metaphors, teacher’s role, student teachers, mathematics education
Ideals play a key role in a student teachers’ identity work. They form targets to strive for and a mirror for reflection. In this paper, we examine Finnish mathematics student teachers’ metaphors for the teacher’s role (N= 188). We classified the metaphors according to a model that identified teachers as subject matter experts, didactical experts, and pedagogical experts, with the addition of another two categories, self-referential and contextual. For the exploration of emerging professional identities, we studied the self-referential metaphors, which formed the most common category in the data. We observed that every third metaphor described either student teachers’ personalities or their incompleteness as teachers, or new beginnings or eras. Although these aspects were expected, they also inform us as teacher educators of the values and ideals that student teachers have in terms of teaching and being a teacher. The metaphors that mathematics student teachers produced illustrated their identity processes and their emerging identity as a mathematics teacher.