Examining opportunities for the development of interacting identities within pre-service teacher education mathematics classrooms
Essien, Anthony A.
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In any pre-service mathematics teacher education classroom, multiple identities are co-constructed simultaneously through the practices in which such classrooms engage. These multiple identities, which are interrelated and in constant interaction, include becoming a teacher of mathematics, becoming learners of mathematics, becoming learners of mathematical practices and becoming proficient English users for the purpose of teaching/learning mathematics and, finally, in multilingual contexts, becoming teachers of mathematics in multilingual classrooms. In this paper, I explore how classroom engagement supports the development of these interacting identities within pre-service teacher education classrooms. I use a developing framework, which I describe in this paper, to delineate each of these identities in four pre-service teacher education classrooms in two universities in South Africa. A notable finding was that, even though the teacher educators in the study were aware of their context of teaching, the identities that were projected through their classroom practices were mostly those that inducted the pre-service teachers (PSTs) into becoming learners of mathematics content. There were very limited practices aimed at inducting pre-service teachers into becoming teachers of mathematics and even more limited opportunities for the development of the identity of becoming teachers of mathematics in multilingual classrooms. Recommendations are made for the design of pre-service teacher education programmes.