Doing math and talking school: Professional talk as producing hybridity in teacher identity and community

Ian Parker Renga, Frederick A. Peck, Ricela Feliciano-Semidei, David Erickson, Ke Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Teachers construct professional identities within community as they converse about their work and negotiate what it means to be a teacher. Grossman, Wineburg, and Woolworth (2001) suggest that such negotiation must account for an essential tension between focusing on pedagogical versus disciplinary concerns. How teachers navigate this tension and what this means for their joint production of identity and community is unclear. This gap in the literature became evident in our work with Math Teachers’ Circles (MTC), where we observed K-12 math teachers indexing instructional experiences and concerns despite the program's explicit invitation to set teaching aside and do math problems together for pleasure. Drawing upon a community of practice framework and positioning theory, we consider the work this professional talk accomplished within MTC gatherings. We show how the teachers positioned themselves and established their community, thereby producing hybrid identities and MTCs as a kind of hybrid community.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100766
JournalLinguistics and Education
Volume55
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Essential tension
  • Hybridity
  • Math teachers
  • Teacher community
  • Teacher professional identity
  • Teacher talk

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