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Title: Integrating the experiences and identities of Irish mature student primary teachers
Author: Dolan, Anne M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2670 4305
Awarding Body: Sheffield Hallam University
Current Institution: Sheffield Hallam University
Date of Award: 2008
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In the contemporary context of lifelong learning, studies of the experiences of female mature students in colleges of education, particularly in Ireland, are limited. This qualitative study of six female full-time mature student teachers in Ireland is rooted in a multifaceted theoretical framework, which incorporates symbolic interactionism, critical realism and critical theory. It is based on a framework for analysing teacher education which incorporates three levels - the micro (the level of individual aspirations, interactions and micro political struggles), the meso (including the departmental and institutional contexts within which teacher education takes place) and the macro (broadly the national, European and international context within which teacher education and schooling occurs). Three themes emerge from the data which the author portrays as three stages of development in the life of the student teacher: (a) presentation of self, (b) self in transition, and (c) redemption of self. Significantly, at various periods in their college life these women struggled with their own identities, adopted the persona of a student, experienced the difficulties of juggling responsibilities and divergent roles, and faced the challenges of identity in transition as their initial identity of primary teacher emerged. This study has highlighted the instrumental reasons for mature student teachers undertaking the Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) degree. Each woman voluntarily adopted an identity as a mature student in the long term interests of becoming a primary school teacher. In the process, their own identity was compromised in order to satisfy the requirements of the B.Ed. programme. The challenges which these women faced demonstrate the contradictions between policies and practices at micro, meso and macro levels in teacher education from the perspective of the mature student. My study concludes with a set of recommendations which aim to improve the experience of mature female student teachers in Ireland and mature students generally.
Supervisor: Aspinwall, Kath ; Bufton, Serena Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available