How a Beginning Science Teacher Deals with Practical Work: an Explorative Study Through the Lens of Identity

  • Bing WeiEmail author
  • Lucy Avraamidou
  • Nan Chen


Through the lens of teacher professional identity, in this case study, we examine how a beginning science teacher deals with practical work in a physics classroom. We explore how various interactions occurred between personal, interpersonal, and situational dimensions of his identity as a beginning physics teacher when dealing with practical work. Various kinds of data were collected over a period of 10 months: 3 semi-structured interviews, 26 classroom observations, 32 brief interviews, as well as various artifacts and lesson plans. The analysis was done through a constant comparative method, and it was grounded within the three-dimensional framework of professional identity: personal, social, and situational. Four main themes emerged through the analysis of the data that represent the main features of the participant’s identity enactment as a beginning physics dealing with practical work: (a) personal characteristics, (b) sense of agency, (c) contextual constraints, and (d) ongoing interpretation of experiences with practical work. These findings are presented through a narration of the participant’s identity with regard to practical work alongside authentic extracts and quotes from the data. Drawn upon these findings, we offer a set of recommendations for future research.


Case study Beginning science teachers Practical work Teacher identity 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MacauMacauChina
  2. 2.University of GroningenGroningenNetherlands
  3. 3.Guangxi Normal UniversityNanningChina

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